In the past 20 years I’ve seen the pool plaster industry come a long way. While there have been improvements in materials, application techniques, and chemicals we still have a long way to go…especially when it comes to education. I’ve decided it’s time to voice my opinion, so take my new blog entries (Jon’s Rant) with a grain of salt. Keep in mind though, that I come at this from a genuine concern for the betterment of my craft.
There is a growing trend in the plaster industry. Many industry organizations have started ‘teaching’ the craft of pool plastering. The majority of these continuing education classes are manufacturer sponsored; and the instructor has never mixed material, put on cleats, troweled a step, or even exposed a wall. I kid you not, these classes are being taught by someone who has never plastered a pool. I doubt anyone would ever go see a doctor who learned how to treat people from a sales rep. Our industry has a total lack of accountability for the plastering of pools. There is no real school to learn the craft or any structured vocational program.
Let’s set the record straight. These classes are basically a scam to push a certain product. Instead of lining certain pockets, we should be learning the right way to prep, mix, trowel, expose, and start up a pool. The only way to do that is to learn from someone who has been in the trenches day in and day out, someone who’s applied every material in the industry. Demand better, and don’t just take my word for it. Look up some other plasterers with experience. There are a few of us out there that really care about improving and advancing our craft. Look up Bill Shrock of Magic Marcite, Roger Jay of Mudslinger Stucco in Canada, or Chris Banister of Corinthian Pool Plaster in England.
Don’t get ripped off by some program that’s half assed and taught by a sales rep. Learn from someone who honestly cares about their craft and has taken the time to learn the right way to do things. Don’t settle for a phony certificate! You’re only fooling yourself.