Lithomex is a modified lime-based mortar designed specifically to repair or simulate brick, stone, and terracotta surfaces. Unlike other products that trap moisture in the host stonework, Lithomex is flexible (with a very high modulus of elasticity), porous, and breathable; allowing water vapor to pass through the masonry to the atmosphere for long-lasting repairs. When applied by skilled craftsmen, Lithomex can simulate the color and texture of existing stone and brick while maintaining similar thermal expansion and weathering characteristics of the host material. Lithomex may be worked, tooled, dressed, and finished with traditional masonry tools, trowel edges, sculpting tools, sanding blocks, tungsten carbide abrasive sheet, and scratch floats. This comprehensive workshop will enable participants to go beyond the basics and learn techniques to hone their skills and elevate their craftsmanship. Technical knowledge and expertise are reinforced with lectures addressing the potential causes of brick and stone deterioration, design considerations, recognition of the aesthetic qualities of Lithomex, and understanding the properties that ensure compatibility with the host masonry. During handson demonstrations and extensive practice on mock-up surfaces, students are guided through the steps to apply the product properly and efficiently to deliver high quality work including carving details with small tools or chisels, tooling and finishing procedures, and color and texture simulation tips and techniques. Each student must successfully complete the hands-on skills and pass an end-of-class written exam to receive the Lithomex Installer Certification which is valid for 5 years. Prior masonry experience is required.
After completing the workshop participants will:
- Understand the science behind breathable natural hydraulic lime.
- Be able to prepare the host masonry.
- Be aware of the steps to mix, blend, and apply Lithomex for optimal durability.
- Know how to simulate stone and brick features, surface finishes, and false joints.
- Be acquainted with using the edge of a trowel or steel float to shape and form details and corners.
- Recognize how to achieve polished finishes by troweling after initial set.
- Appreciate how to rub down the repair to its final shape and profile by using abrasive pads, blocks, knives, or straightedges.
- Realize how to simulate an aged patina for the repair.
- Become a Certified Lithomex Installer (successful completion of the hands-on skills and written exam is required).
The workshop will be held at the historic Millhafen Farm—the headquarters of Craftwork Training Center and LimeWorks.us—located at 3145 State Road, Telford, PA 18969. A nonrefundable deposit of $100 is required two weeks in advance with the balance due at the beginning of the workshop. All the necessary materials and tools will be supplied and a light lunch is provided for your convenience. The program will start promptly at 8:00 am. Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the check-in process and come appropriately dressed and prepared for hands-on training. To ensure an exceptional learning experience, the class size is limited. However, a minimum of 3 participants is required to hold the workshop.