Bradenton business combines social art class with unique material

Bradenton business combines social art class with unique material

A Bradenton business is combining concepts like popular social painting and craft classes with epoxy, a unique material that hardens to become more flexible and dense than concrete.

The shop opened six months ago at the Red Barn Flea Market and offers epoxy to make custom floors, countertops, tabletops, and bathroom surfaces for homeowners and area businesses.

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More recently, Bradenton Epoxy also began offering a two-and-a-half-hour art course where customers can create two pieces of art with epoxy materials.

“The class is very therapeutic,” Bradenton Epoxy’s Austin Ferrer said. “It’s not even for people looking to get into epoxy flooring. We found that the product is incredible to move … It’s between paint and honey. It’s very therapeutic.”

The class is limited to 13 students at a time and is designed as a creative social outlet for customers.

“We think it eliminates stress,” Ferrer said. “People can come in, leave their worries at home, have a great time, laugh, create art and be in a totally judgment-free environment. We’ve never had a customer leave unsatisfied with the artwork that they have created.”

Bradenton Epoxy now offers social art classes where students can create two unique pieces of art using the unique epoxy material.

Students put their creative skills to use by mixing different colors of epoxy together into two artistic pieces, one guided by instructors and the second created entirely themselves.

“One student used the red white and blue colors to create an American Flag,” Ferrer said. “Another customer used eight different colors to create a very artistic piece that she wanted to gift to her mother who is moving into a nursing home, just to bring life and energy to the room.”

Wilbian Rivera took the epoxy class twice in the last month. She said she enjoys arts and crafts classes such as Painting with a Twist and Board & Brush and decided to try the class after learning about it on Facebook.

Rivera said she felt like the classes could be good for the mental health of residents who have been felt isolated during COVID-19. The class even helped her work through the emotions of her mother’s death several weeks ago.

Rivera has now purchased some epoxy of her own and is using it to make artistic pieces for her home.

“The experience was amazing,” Rivera said. “It’s great for mental health. That’s something that I am doing right now because my mom passed away several weeks ago, so for me, this is perfect. It’s good for the people.”

Using epoxy as art

Bradenton Epoxy owner Gabriel Ferrer moved to Florida from Argentina in 1991 and worked in the local area as a tennis coach. He eventually opened his first business, Reglaze Pros, about a decade ago. That company refreshes tubs, showers, cabinets, countertops, and floors with spray-on glazes and, at times, epoxy.

“In Florida, we have some kind of ugly pink-looking tubs,” Ferrer said. “We go in and either spray on our glaze product or we pour over our epoxy product.“

Ferrer decided to transition away from the spray-on material, and along with his son, Austin opened the new store to focus solely on epoxy because it was healthier for employees. The material also has a number of benefits for customers.

Customers can select their colors and work with staff on a concept to redo their household surfaces like floors, garage floors, bathtubs, showers, countertops, and tabletops.

“The epoxy product, when fully cured, is 20 times thicker than concrete, and it has incredible flexibility,” Ferrer said. “You can actually bend the material slightly. Not to mention, most importantly, is the artistic component of it. People get to pick their colors. They get to choose their design. For us, it’s art.”

Bradenton Epoxy works with commercial customers to install custom surfaces such as floors, walls, and countertops.

Ferrer said the epoxy material used by the Bradenton store is food-safe and does not have a lot of the carcinogens and other contaminants commonly found in different epoxies.

“It’s healthier, cleaner, and safer than regular epoxies,” Ferrer said. “Typically when people are using epoxy on their own, people are always wearing respirators because these chemicals are incredibly toxic. Our product, the epoxy that we use, is completely toxic-free, and there is no odor.”

About Caroline Vega 89 Articles
Metrocrete News is the leading news source for epoxy flooring, polished & stained concrete, self-leveling concrete overlays, and garage floor epoxy. We cover these topics in-depth with the intention to educate readers on the latest trends in the concrete industry. There’s always something happening in the world of concrete coatings – be sure to check back regularly for updates!