Monday, December 20, 2010

Northern Territory Artisans, Minnesota Quartz Stone and Metallics

Heading North:
As, I write this blog the Bears are trying to clinch a playoff spot against the Minnesota Vikings.
It is the second quarter and according to the internet the score is:
"Da Bears" 17 and the Vivkings 7.

(I was trying to write this and listen to the game on the radio,
but could not properly multi task)

 At the airport last Monday morning in Chicago, I saw people in shorts and flip flops heading south... It seems like the only time that I end up in Minneapolis, is when it is near 0 degrees. I could have been bitter about heading north, but I knew that I was in for some fun with the NTA, the local IDAL chapter from the Twin Cities!!

The Bloomington, Minnesota Sherwin-Williams Training Center is the new host to the NTA's monthly meetings.  SW sales rep, Kyle Hinners and Cesar Aquino, City Manager, had a nice surprise for all of us. They and Michelle Thielen, the district coordinator had prepared the entire training room, kitchen cabinets and all as a "blank canvas" for our product installation testing.

See the group testing Quartz Stone, tinted to SW 6108, Latte, on one of the walls: (After a long day of installing, they were still ready for fun!)

We spent a little time discussing the new product line as well as the hopes and plans for upcoming meetings.  It was mentioned that many of the chapter members are taking on a lot of kitchen cabinet refinishing projects.  As I mentioned previously,  Kyle and Michelle offered the NTA quite a playground, including their kitchen cabinets! (Not the Sink)  After hearing comments related to HVLP sprayer usage, Kyle suggested that he would invite the Graco spray technical rep to come out to an upcoming meeting and train everyone on the proper use of HVLP and low pressure sprayers for clear coating over the faux finished/ refinished cabinets. 

I can tell already that the NTA and the great SW staff in Minneapolis, are going to be a dangerous combination. I look forward to seeing the results on the cabinets early next year.  (Maybe when the snow begin to melt)  See the Graco info below:

FinishPro HVLP with breakthrough TurboForce technology

Wall Done, Now on to Sample boards:
Although it was good to do a product overview and jump on a wall and get the real feel of the Quartz Stone, the sample wall would not help with any immediate needs to present to customers and SELL Jobs.

With that in mind, we left our large "canvas" unfinished and decided to spend the rest of the evening focusing on sample boards.

Much like the MAG chapter in St. Louis, this bunch had big plans!  We had prepared boards and blow dryers.

Check out the crackle and leave sample in progress by Peg Malanaphy, chapter president.
Video below of final, glaze application which highlights the crackled
MinWax, Polycrylic clear coat.

I particularly liked the next sample which features the Quartz Stone, tinted to Latte applied and then "chopped" or cut through to create an almost tree bark effect.  After a little blow drying, a rolled on and wiped back coat of Metallic tinted to Coconut Husk makes for a fantastic contemporary look.  See Below:

Somebody's got a great sample board to present!!
We packed up an cleaned up and left the room ready for next month's meeting.  I can't wait to see the transformation of the Training Center!

Afternoon Hands-on Session:
Earlier the same day, we had a "Standing Room Only" hand-on session at the same facility for contractors and decorative artists.  The group did a great job and was extremely creative with their textures. Along with Kyle and Michelle, Jaxon, Amber and Katie, rounded out the SW support team for the day. Jaxon inspired the group with his finishes and it set off an afternoon of Circles!
See Jaxon's design below:

I really liked these small circles, twisted and "cut" through the
Quartz Stone to reveal the Metallic base coat.
Or these larger circles, created in a similar fashin, then knocked down and
finally combed through with a rubber graining combs on an angle.
Someone Else has a Sample board to present!
Smooshing has never gone out of style and this designed highlighted to shimmering Latte Metallic basecoat, coming through the thin layer of Latte quartz Stone, smooshed and creased with a 1ml plastic drop cloth and then slightly knocked down and blurred.

Organic, nature inspired and very Sellable!
NTA, Artist extraordinare, Andreas Scholz could not make the evening IDAL meeting, but showed the afternoon group a thing or two and was very helpful with ideas and inspiration.  I look forward to seeing some of his work in the future. 

Check out his amazing work at

See his 2-tone, wet-on-wet blended Quartz Stone sample below:
Da Bears!
I just checked and it is the 3rd quarter and Da score is Chicago 27, Minnesota 13.

Dallas Design VIP's!
Next Monday, wait until you see what the Dallas Interior Designers had to do and say last week, during an invitation only, VIP designer event at the Robert Allen Showroom at the Dallas Design Center!

Stay warm and Happy Holidays!



Information on IDAL at:

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