About

Aria Stone Gallery believes each stone is a unique piece of artwork. Our curated collection of luxurious, hand-selected, natural stone is from the most exclusive quarries around the world.  We prioritize displaying stone as works of art much like the experience and environment of visiting an art gallery so that you can experience the full beauty of each stone.

The Aria Difference

The constant pursuit of the perfect slab is what sets Aria’s collection apart as a unique stone boutique. Instead of trying to fulfill a pre-determined stock list of standard materials, selections are made based on the uniqueness of each stone. Much like buying a diamond, materials are evaluated for their color, content, clarity, and consistency with consideration on how the vein structures lend to book match veining.

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The Aria Difference

The most sought after stones in the world come from remote places like Brazil, Africa and the Middle East. Unfortunately only a small percentage of the blocks mined are considered “first quality” slabs.  It is  our estimation that 85 to 90% of all stone imported into the US is not first quality material – meaning that a slab may be fine structurally but not as rich in color or as well-balanced in its veining and movement as in premium slabs.  Aria Stone Gallery only brings in first quality slabs, 100% of the time, no exceptions. We are known to suppliers as being the strictest  importer in the country.

Unlike buying a man-made product, which can be done on demand, purchasing stone is a much more subjective exercise. Quarries go through bad phases, yielding undesirable blocks, and they often face regulatory issues, all of which restricts the fine buying or what Aria  calls the “pursuit of the perfect stone.”

Many stone distributors are primarily focused on filling purchase orders – and that may be okay settling for an ordinary slab. Aria Stone Gallery we don’t sell ordinary slabs – we don’t have a standard list of “stone we carry”. The good thing about natural stone is that new quarries are always being discovered, new blocks are constantly being processed and you never know when the most dramatic slab is about to be cut. It’s a bit like baseball – the trick is not to fall for the temptation of swinging at every pitch. At Aria Stone Gallery we would rather be out of a popular stone color than have a mediocre slab in stock.


Sharing a Passion for Stone

Aria Stone Gallery was born with the intent to revert this trend of under appreciating stone and help its customers discover the uniqueness and beauty of this natural wonder: from incorporating book-matched slabs into the overall design of the space, to the use of rare materials, to promoting different stone applications beyond countertops or vanity tops. Aria seeks to provoke the imagination, challenge the status quo, and expand the current limited perception of the ways to use natural stone. Most importantly, Aria intends to recreate and restore the inherent richness and superiority of natural stone.


Read More

Sharing a Passion for Stone

Aria Stone Gallery was born with the intent to revert this trend of under appreciating stone and help its customers discover the uniqueness and beauty of this natural wonder: from incorporating book-matched slabs into the overall design of the space, to the use of rare materials, to promoting different stone applications beyond countertops or vanity tops. Aria seeks to provoke the imagination, challenge the status quo, and expand the current limited perception of the ways to use natural stone. Most importantly, Aria intends to recreate and restore the inherent richness and superiority of natural stone.


Read More

Sharing a Passion for Stone

With today’s increased use of natural stone in applications, such as granite countertops, stone has become commoditized. Builders throughout the country advertise granite as a standard feature in entry-level homes and as a result a wide swath of America has been able to enjoy something that, until recently, has been associated with luxury and exclusivity. Unfortunately, along the way, the things that truly set natural stone apart from every man-made alternative like laminate or engineered stone have been lost in the process. The ubiquitous nature of stone fabrication in the last 10 years has made natural stone lose some of its genuine allure. Our goal is simply  to help customers discover the uniqueness and beauty of this natural wonder.

Message From The Owner

Welcome to Aria Stone Gallery. Let me tell you a bit about the concept behind Aria. It all started when I visited the National Museum in Stockholm and had the opportunity to explore their installation of Slow Art and understand its philosophy and fundamentals. Like the burgeoning Slow Food movement’s call to think about where our meals come from, Slow Art is about being more aware of the origin and history of the materials used in artwork.


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Message From The Owner

It all started when I visited the National Museum in Stockholm and had the opportunity to explore their installation of Slow Art and understand its philosophy and fundamentals. Like the burgeoning Slow Food movement’s call to think about where our meals come from, Slow Art is about being more aware of the origin and history of the materials used in artwork. It forces people to concentrate on a single piece rather than zoom by, fighting the desire to graze and instead diving deep. I was intrigued by the concept of appreciating the beauty of slowly and carefully developed art, and started to wonder how I could apply those concepts to the stone industry and design world. And that’s where Aria comes in. It’s about truly appreciating the food, the painting or in Aria’s case the pieces of Art that nature has created so slowly over centuries.

Another branch of this phenomenon is Slow Travel. Advocates of this movement argue that too often the potential pleasure of the journey is lost by the too eager anticipation of arrival. Slow Travel, it is asserted, is a state of mind, which allows travelers to engage more fully with communities along their route, often favoring visits to spots enjoyed by local residents than merely following guidebooks. It’s in this context that I strongly encourage you to look – slowly, deliberately and thoughtfully – at each one of our carefully hand-picked slabs and immerse yourself in the history and uniqueness of each one of the pieces in our collection.

“We wanted to create a museum-like atmosphere that would force people to concentrate on a single piece rather than zoom by, fighting the desire to graze and instead diving deep, discovering the intricacies of a particular slab and hopefully resulting in an emotional connection to one of our stones” 

Vinny’s Natural Stone Manifesto

What happened to waiting for the great things in life to present themselves when the time is ripe?

And what does that mean in a stone context? It means you can’t rush the marble. You can’t dictate how the next block – or using today’s fast manufacturing mentality- the next “batch”, – will look, which directions the veining is going to run or how white the background is going to be. You can’t set the parameters of the next “production”. There’s no defined “next production”.

It sounds cliche but “next production” might mean next spring because the winter was too wet in the Apuan mountains and marble blocks couldn’t be reached. It’s not very different than pursuing the next special Bordeaux vintage. You can’t simply reengineer a ton of grapes into great wine. Not only do you need the right conditions, the proper soil, weather, and temperature but also the right attitude: you can’t speed through the process and expect greatness. The word “vintage” itself implies maturity, time, patience. Some describe it as the ability to work or respond to the environment in an appropriate matter. This couldn’t be truer for marble.

Unfortunately all of that means you can’t really pre design a marble slab. You can’t press “start” in a machine and voila, the “perfect” marble slab comes out on the other side of the assembly line. Maybe this quest for perfection is what led to the creation of quartz slabs…. the promise of a better surface. But if indeed better, why design quartz after natural stone? Why are they trying to look like marble anyway? If it’s a superior product why can’t it stand on its own, by its own design? Where is its authenticity?

Does producing 300 slabs per day – of the same exact slab – seems special to you? Maybe it is for you if you are the only factory doing it. But what happens if there are 300 more factories doing it? Are all those marble-looking slabs as special as their manufacturers aspire to convince us to believe? Or are they just the re-interpretation of another mass-produced item with the intention of tricking us into believing we are consuming a better version of the original? Fake pearls, anyone?

Whether it’s synthetic fabric, artificial turf or engineered stone, you just can’t out-design the real thing. However, that doesn’t mean the attempt to standardize Mother Nature shouldn’t have its place in society. We just can’t kid ourselves pretending it belongs in the realm of luxury. One key aspect associated with luxury is scarcity. Another one is genuineness… and both are lacking on “calacatta” look-alike quartz slabs. Processed cheese, anyone?

I personally would rather work with truly special things… things we can’t control 100%, things that are subject to nature, to other forces…things that maybe at first frustrate us more than what we are willing to understand. But eventually it always reveals itself. The same way that a shiny piece of plastic is not diamond, that faux leather is not parchment, that nylon is not cashmere, that forcefully compressed quartz minerals blended with artificial pigments and chemicals IS NOT genuine stone. Marketing it in glossy magazines with top models on top of it might for a moment reminisce the allure of marble. But upon further inspection it’s clear it’s just an attempt to look like the real thing.

All of this is to say that in a world where authenticity seems to be lacking, we shall all take the time and ask ourselves: what are we really trying to accomplish here? If it’s just the introduction of another ubiquitous countertop surface so that we can move on to the next important thing in our lives, then quartz, or any other “stone” material, including “off the mill” natural stone for that matter, will do the trick. But if we are pursuing something truly special, unique and one of a kind then we need to go back to time-tested things. There are no shortcuts. A Synthesizer keyboard doesn’t feel or sound like a live Steinway. There’s no other surface that will look or feel as bespoke as a one-in-a-thousand slab of marble.

At Aria, we promise the real thing, the best nature has to offer. It might not be “human expectation” perfect but it’s the best that has always been and probably ever will be.

Some of most succulent apples might come with spots. But it’s much better than the chemical, bountiful, perfectly shaped alternative. As the song goes:

“Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT

I don’t care about spots on my apples,

Leave me the birds and the bees”. It’s the same thing for stone. Fissures and natural pits are part of it. That’s where Craftmanship plays an important role. That’s where human ingenuity comes in. But not in a plastic way. We don’t need to kill the bees to enjoy the apple. We just need to incorporate it in the art (process) of harvesting the fruit. What do we call again the ability to work with what the environment has to offer?

At Aria, we are proud of working with the elements that life provides us with in their most genuine and authentic form, which in our case is the naturally perfect marble slab.

 

Vinny Tavares

Owner and Founder