Niagara Machine Presents "Advanced Color and Design" Training

Learn decorative techniques from Rick Lobdell, owner of Concrete Mystique Engraving.

Niagara Machine is pleased to announce a two-day training opportunity on Tuesday, March 29 and Wednesday, March 30, 2016, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The training course will be led by Rick Lobdell, owner of Concrete Mystique Engraving (Nashville, Tenn.). Don’t be intimidated by the thought of creating beautiful floors. Lobdell breaks down the process in an easy to understand, heavy hands-on two day training. Attendees will leave this training with the knowledge to be able to create your own designs and add another dimension to your business.

Rick Lobdell graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio with a BA in Fine Art and Philosophy. He then went to Savannah, Georgia where he received an MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design. While in graduate school, Rick worked in construction doing mostly custom tile work. In 2003 he moved to Nashville, Tenn. where he was introduced to the decorative concrete industry. Within three years he took over the company, Concrete Mystique Engraving, and started turning his new trade into an art form.

Currently he is well known worldwide for his decorative concrete designs. He has had multiple articles in national magazines, a segment on Tennessee Crossroads, The Concrete Show, and GAC’s Day Jobs. World of Concrete has invited him to demonstrate his skills at the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Artistry’s in Concrete. The DCC (Decorative Concrete Council) has awarded Rick with 16 national awards in the last five years. Over the last 12 years he has watched this industry change and grow at an amazing rate. In his opinion, the one element that the industry is missing is more true artists. He has used his MFA degree very successfully in a non-traditional setting and feels that it can, and will be implemented as a norm in the decorative concrete field in the coming years.

The training will take place at Niagara Machine, 1803 Associates Lane, Charlotte, N.C., 28217

The training will include the following topics/discussions:


Concrete surfaces:

  • Discuss different surfaces of polished concrete, new/old concrete
  • Breakdown the surface after opening the floor up, what to look for, what to expect, size of aggregate
  • Make sure you understand customer expectations

Overlay application methods:

  • Self-leveling/polishable overlay, how this changes grinding process, how stain takes

Design Layout, part 1

  • Add a border, what size and why, stain it darker/lighter
  • When to add design (before/after stain)
  • Saw cuts vs. engraving
  • Cool basic pattern layouts

Design Layout, part 2

  • Basic math skills
  • Tape measure, square, straight edge, and soap stone (no stencil)
  • How to convert an image from a piece of paper to the floor
  • How to plot points for medallions and free form designs
  • Choice of scale of design to fit each space

Cutting the design

  • Engraving/saw cut machines vs. angle grinder freehand work
  • Importance of a vacuum and a helper
  • Safety is important!


Stain applications

  • Acid stain vs. dyes vs. water-based (surface PH)
  • Discuss dry times, reaction times
  • Types of sprayers for each type of stain and their applications
  • Tape/protect walls vs shield walls
  • Importance of hand brushing details and borders
  • Masking a design for added depth/shadows
  • Color combinations and why, match the location vs. what you think is the right color choice

Finish polishing

  • Densify
  • Color lift expectations during polishing
  • Recut lines for engraving
  • Show how grinders affect or don’t affect engraved/saw cut lines.


  • Overview of the training
  • “Understanding Color and Design”

The cost to attend this training opportunity is $450 per person. Supplies and food is included.

Class size is limited.

For more information or to register, call (704) 329-5701 and ask for DJ, Training Coordinator.


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