Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: Architectural Digest

Natural stone isn't just stone. Every slab is distinct, some more subtly grained while others are vividly expressive. No matter your preference in pattern, a recently popular trend towards book-matched slabs is the material at its most statement-making.

But what does "book-matched" really mean? Book-matching occurs when the veining and movement of an individual slab is mirrored by its "slab sister". Meaning when placed end to end, the veining and movement carries on from one slab to the other creating a continuing flow or pattern. The process of book-matching occurs during manufacturing when alternating sides of the slab are polished. It adds cost and time to the finishing process and not all natural stone is suitable for book-matching.

Natural stones with strong movement and veining are best suited for book-matching.  Many varieties of marble, quartzite and travertine have the right characteristics befitting a book-matched installation.

When considering your overall interior design, it is important to carefully consider the type of book-matching: veincut vs crosscut.  Typically, book-matched slabs manufactured crosscut offer the most dramatic and varied patterns where book-matched veincut slabs offer a more structured and striated patterning.

"Fundamentally, I am all about finding interesting and authentic ways to incorporate nature into most of my designs," says interior designer Jeremiah Brent, who sprung for book-matched marble in the bathroom he co-designed with his partner Nate Berkus for their Manhattan home. "Book-matched marble is one of the truest ways to showcase the natural beauty of the stone and can become a statement piece of art."

We know what you're thinking: Acquiring two mirror-image slabs of natural stone is probably very costly, right? Not necessarily... Compared with engineered stones and porcelain, natural stone can be the most affordable option, depending on the material you choose.

After you pick the slabs you love, with the right clarify, definition, and veining, it has to then be professionally 'sliced' from one flat slab into two even flatter slabs by your fabricator. Come installation day, you'll want to be sure the two pieces line up precisely right. It's no minor undertaking.

But, due to its high-impact look, a small piece of book-matched marble goes quite a long way: "Use it in places where it can not only be appreciated, but also transition through the years seamlessly," Brent says, like on "bathroom walls, kitchen islands, fireplace mantels, accent walls and even on the floor." And if marble is starting to sound like too dull for you, remember that it's possible to book-match other natural materials, too. It instantly makes a space feel custom and elevated."

Let me know in the comments if you like book-match slabs design!

Article by Camila da Paz | Source: Curbed Atlanta

Last week we made a delivery for a customer in Atlanta, GA and while up there, my colleagues stumbled upon an old granite quarry that helped built the city, but is now in the process of being transformed into a public park and water reservoir that will create 2.4 billion gallons of water to the city.

The area is located on the west side of Atlanta and is a place that most residents of the city say the geography reminds you of the Rockies that make up the western landscape of North America. The Bellwood Quarry was in operation for over 100 years.

For the majority of its existence the quarry has been used as a source of granite that were used in paving roads and sidewalks, as well as in some of the buildings in the city. Originally the quarry had a dual purpose, in addition to using the granite from the quarry, the county also used the quarry as a camp for prison labor.

A closer look at the prison labor system in Georgia and throughout the south reveals more than just a system of punishment for lawbreakers, but an extension of slavery and the racial tensions that dictated the politics of the south after The Civil War. After the prison labor system in the south was removed the quarry began to operate under the hands of private corporations. While the nation began to become more conscious, industrialization and environmental disasters created standardization for environmental inspections that the quarry and its owners had to conform to.

In more recent history the quarry has begun a new phase of use. As Atlanta’s industrial past has waned, the city has turned to new sources of economic growth. Atlanta has begun to market itself as a city friendly to the production of television and movies, such as The Walking Dead, Hunger Games, and Stranger Things. This in turn has made the Bellwood Quarry a popular spot for shooting both television and movie scenes. The city hopes that through the beltline revitalization project that people will be enticed to move back into that area of the city.

The rather enormous greenspace runs through Atlanta like nature’s circulatory system. Also, an unusual quarry-like elevation was incorporated into the park’s plans to provide views not only of the beautiful, active park, but of the city beyond as well. Playgrounds, sports fields, recreation trails, and facilities will be arranged on upper and lower meadows. The expansive water feature built into the park plan will double as a 2.5-billion-gallon reservoir, a month’s reserve supply of clean Atlanta drinking water, thanks to a five-mile-long tunnel that will extend from the Hemphill water treatment plant to the Chattahoochee River, through the quarry site.

After more than a decade of planning, the construction is underway for the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, a sprawling tract that will become the city’s largest park. The first phase of the 280-acre park is completed, but close to public at the moment due the pandemic. Once the Westside Park is complete, Atlanta will be home to over 400 parks.

And that is a great way to transform a city's history and natural resources!

Scottish artist sculpts shoes that are not made for walking

Article by Camila da Paz | Source: Stone Sculpture

Not too long ago we wrote about Barbara Segal, the amazing artist who makes luxury bag out of luxury stones (if you missed this post, click here). This week I discovered yet another amazing artist who works with marble in another not very tradition way, and his name is Alasdair Thomson.

The Identity Collection (2013/2014) Carrara Marble + Wooden Hangers

At first glance, these pretty dresses look like just the sort of summer attire you’d have hanging up in your wardrobe. They are an off-white, almost grey color (a big trend this season) and are in frilly, boho-style that has become so popular. But, on close inspection, you will see that the lovely dresses are, in fact, made of marble – sculpted over eight months by Edinburgh-based artist Alasdair Thomson.

For Display Only (2014) Vermont Imperial Danby Marble + Wood

Alasdair achieved his degree in Art History from the University of Edinburgh in 2004, and his diploma in sculpture from the Scuola Edile in Siena in 2010. As well as making his personal work, Alasdair has completed sculptural commissions for clients such as Nike, Puma and Arkk Copenhagen, amongst others.

Alasdair Thomson had this to say when we questioned him on his work: "I have been fascinated by the way that fabric folds and hangs, and I am seeking to represent those forms in marble as accurately as possible.

It is also a fun idea to make something look very soft out of something that is very hard."

There Was An Error In Placing Your Order (2018) Carrara Marble

"I am always excited to see people’s reactions to my work, and I enjoy challenging their expectations of what is achievable in stone."

That, basically, says it all, with the possible exception of some technical information on him and his art.

Alasdair Thomson lives and works as a sculptor in Scotland’s capital Edinburg. He studied art history specializing in the Renaissance Period of the 1400’s and discovered his interest in sculpting.

After graduating he sought and found an experienced sculptor to train with. He absolved his further training in the USA during the following few years. To broaden his professional base he enrolled in a program at Siena’s Scuola Edile, from whence he graduated with a diploma in stone sculpting.

Various marble sneaker projects, including personal work, work for private clients, corporate work and public commissions (2017 - 2020)

His favorite material to make the sculptures is marble from Carrara, which he has been working with for years. The white or blue-grey material is popular for building and sculptures. ‘I'm flattered that people really like this work. It really resonates with people, which is lovely - people identify with them.’ - says Alasdair. He won the People's Choice Award at Edinburgh's Royal Scottish Academy 2013 Open Exhibition, and is the recipient of a residency with the Carving Studio & Sculpture Centre in Rutland, VT, due to be undertaken in the summer of 2014. He also carved in 2019 the Nike’s Studio Of Dreams at Superbowl LIII in Atlanta, GA.

How cool is that guys? And again, natural stone never seize to amaze me with its beauty and versatility! I just love it! How about you?


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