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Stone Matching

Stone Matching

10.09.19

So much of proper construction is mechanical. Crisp reveal lines, mouldings meeting at a perfect 90 degrees without a gap, paint surfaces that are smooth without drips or sags. All of these require mechanical skill to create an aesthetic affect, but none require the mechanic to have a great aesthetic sense.

Stone matching is different. Figured stones are nature’s paintings. No two stones are identical (except for the pure whites of Thassos and the pure blacks of Absolute Black; and this veining presents both opportunities and hazards to the designer and the stone mason. People often speak of the quality of stone, but the veining or colour is no higher or lower “quality”, it is just what suits the aesthetic vision of the designer and homeowner.  Some may prefer stones with a high contrast of colour; others will prefer a lower contrast. Some will love the hints of rust in a stone, others will find it abhorrent.

The first step of finding the right stone can be challenging.  We must then continue to refine the ideal vision during fabrication and installation.  This aesthetic work is one of the greatest pleasures of construction.

In the first project, designer Kerry Joyce wanted the quietest possible palate for a re-creation of a turn of the century apartment. This apartment at the Plaza Hotel should feel “as if it had always been this way”.  Starting with the best possible statuary white stone mosaic glued to mesh sheets, Kerry had the Rusk team spread out the sheets and marked for removal the individual stones which were too different from the rest of the stones.  These stones were replaced with stones that were more in keeping with the rest of the sheet. With the larger format wall tiles, Kerry laid out the stone for each elevation and removed all that varied from the overall palate.

In the second project, the stone clad fireplace was limited by the size of slabs that would fit within the elevator. Book matching, where the two halves of the stone slab are cut in mirrored pattern with each other would have created a noticeable and distracting pattern across the three slabs. Instead, architect Matthew Baird and interior designer, Ilene Wetson, carefully sorted through slabs and three different slabs were chosen that were agreeable alongside each other, without feeling too precious.

Photography: Elizabeth Felicella

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