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An Artist’s View into #STONEISART

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Last May in SoHo, New York City, Aria Stone Gallery opened an exhibit to the public to celebrate the launch of our new online storefront. The exhibit was named after our mantra, #STONEISART. Since Aria has long believed that natural stone is art in its own right, we wanted to celebrate artists and designers who also see the beauty in natural stone and incorporate it frequently into their designs. After speaking with the artists and designers both one-on-one and through a conversational open panel discussion, we have learned more about the process in which each artist develops their work and why they chose stone as their preferred medium.
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Peg Woodworking: Finding Inspiration through Material Exploration

Kate Casey is a Brooklyn based designer and owner of Peg Woodworking. With a strong background in sculpting and fabrication, Kate designs each piece of furniture with an eye for detail and the utmost attention to form and function. Paying tribute to the clean lines and intricate weaving found in Shaker and Scandinavian design, Peg Woodworking provides a contemporary take on the traditional.

While the root of what Kate designs is primarily based in carpentry and woodworking, she often incorporates different textures and materials in her projects to create a well balanced collection. Working with and exploring new materials is Kate’s lifeblood and inspiration. Kate, expands on her formal training by learning from educational outlets such as YouTube, where she self-taught herself how to expertly craft Peruvian and American-Indian style weaving. After the success of these items, Kate began a new chapter: natural stone. Kate instantly connected to the natural, unique colors and patterns of marble and is drawn to the fact that no two pieces are alike.

As for her latest endeavor, The Bastet Collection, the side tables are constructed with white oak or blackened ash using a barreling technique, similar to the ancient craft of wine barrel creation. The tops of the tables are adorned with slabs of White Beauty or Silver Wave.

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Photo Courtesy of Peg Woodworking, Bastet Collection.

April Hannah: Transforming Materials through Form

April Hannah is a sculptural-based designer, whose inherent interest is transforming material through form. April examines the creative process across media and through multiple generations. One afternoon, April found herself intrigued by the smart way a particular toy of her son’s interlocked and transformed. This pattern gave way to April’s creation of her Totem collection. April’s process begins by using her drawings and paintings to create a “DNA blueprint” for each individual sculpture. The single shape of the template is then reproduced onto multiple pieces of wood using charcoal, each shape interlocking with the other to create a seamless and sculptural form.

The totems are all three-dimensional objects that are an exercise which, “strives to transcend the banal and create an unpredictable universe of meditative energy and childlike wonder.” April’s newest expansion upon her totem collection comes in the form of the Lotus Cocktail Table. The elegant table is designed and created using the same process as the totems, using Nero Marquita or Statuary marble, and fashioned with a glass top.

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Photo Courtesy of April Hannah Studio, Lotus Cocktail Table.

A Space Studio: Connecting Nature and Modernity through Natural Stone

Anna Aristova and Roza Gazarian of A Space Studio are the perfect duo to create modern, natural works of art that are as beautiful as they are unique. The pair finds their inspiration “in a constant balance of opposites,” by pairing raw, heavy natural stone with delicate steel or a romantic gold leaf. Bringing earthy elements into the home in a thoughtful and beautiful way can be a challenge, especially in today’s growing urban landscape. Through knowledge and intuition, the team has found a way to “create a vast and open space” to escape through their natural collections.

In the recent FOUND collection, the stone is sourced and left unpolished directly from the quarries in the mountains of Turkey. These raw, organic stones are then fashioned and manipulated in ways that create a modern piece of art.

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Photo Courtesy of A Space Studio, Found Console Table.

Robin Antar: Using Stone for Healing and Preservation

Robin Antar is a sculptor who primarily uses natural stone to create her works of art. During our artist panel discussion, Robin recounted how she carefully selects natural stone based on the vision of her design. Robin’s art ranges from abstract to impressionistic, and how she selects her natural stone varies based on the design and the story that she is trying to tell.

For example, Boxing Gloves, is made entirely of Carrara Marble, and the veining gives a soft, natural component for a powerful object. Robin’s “passion is to create virtual records of cultural and personal events” that have impacted the artist greatly. The permanence of stone is the perfect platform for the artist to transform her emotions and create “lasting expressions of art for others to appreciate.”

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Conversation 2.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Boxing Gloves.

Erickson Aesthetics: Studying Art and Fine Furniture with Stone

Furniture designer, Ben Erickson, is known for his ability to create modern designs using unexpected geometric patterns that “draws on the line of fine art furniture and tongue-in-cheek intentionality.”  In his latest collection, Pyramids, Ben uses marble and brass to create a highly inspirational side table composed of two marble pyramids to create an hourglass figure, held together by a brass pole. True to Ben’s fashion, the pole also allows for the side table to swivel, giving the exquisite table a playful touch.

All of Ben’s furniture is carried out with the highest quality of craftsmanship and materials. And notably, many pieces that Ben designs all feature a certain element of surprise that make the pieces of art relatable and draw the viewer in to create an emotional connection.

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Photo Courtesy of Erickson Aesthetics, Pyramids Side Table.

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Architectural Digest Show 2017 – Natural Stone for Every Room

Every year, an ensemble of leading designers and architects gather from around the globe to showcase their extraordinary innovations at the prominent Architectural Digest Show in New York City. From independent, up-and-coming designers, to well-established and iconic craftsman, today’s brightest talents are put on display. While there are thousands of carefully curated products shown throughout the weekend, one evident theme was the use of natural stone in unique and creative ways.

Master Bathroom

While it is not uncommon to see natural stone in the bathroom, it is clear from I Maestri’s booth that traditional objects, such as the bathtub, are becoming sculptural works of art. Neutra’s Duo Collection, available through I Maestri uses marble and wood to draw inspiration from the “purity of water, the energy of stones, and the warmth of wood.” Designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, the sculptural bathtubs are carved from a single block of Carrara marble, making them a piece of art in their own right.

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Neutra, Duo Collection. Image courtesy of www.imaestri.com
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Neutra, Duo Collection. Image courtesy of www.imaestri.com

Dining Room

The important concepts of contrast and proportion are prevalent in the modern DeMarco Dining Table by KGBL NYC. The round, two-toned, all-marble dining table features a solid statuary marble top and a nero marquina base that is both simple and elegant. This monochromatic color palette is a timeless design that will last for years to come.

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DeMarco Dining Table, image courtesy of www.kgblnyc.com.

Living Room

Brooklyn-based newcomer, Peg Woodworking, stole the show with the Bastet end table collection, which is available in either white beauty or a black marble, similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Port Black. The earthy combination of wood and stone is a classic mix, refreshed by confident geometric design.

Anna Aristova and Roza Gazarian of A Space Studio, also combined wood and marble to create a stunning console table. The dark St. Laurant Marble is elevated by its asymmetrical raw edge and rich color combination.

Lighting

Always crossing the boundaries of art and design, Dimore Studio’s Lampada 060, is the perfect accent. The Calacatta marble base is bound together by eye-catching gold hardware, which is nicely balanced by the traditional, cream colored drum lampshade. The artistic table lamp will instantly elevate any room in the home.dimore-studio-lamp

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Natural Stone in Retail Design

Fashion and interior design are both expressions of art that often influence one another. For fashion, retail stores are an important way to introduce new customers and engage loyal customers through an experience that encapsulates the brand. Around the world, many fashion brands and department stores such as Barney’s, Dolce and Gabbana, and Bulgari look to natural stone as a way to keep a space elegant, luxurious, and timeless.

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Proenza Shouler. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

The Proenza Shouler boutique in SoHo features a quiltwork combination of Silver Wave and Calacatta Marble from floor-to-ceiling with a dark grout. The dark industrial metal clothing rods are suspended from the ceiling, and mirrors the geometric rectangular composition of the marble slabs.

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Barney’s New York. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

The prestigious Barney’s New York Chelsea Flagship store designed by Steven Harris Architects and Rees Roberts + Partners achieved its sophisticated look by experimenting with curved forms in both the architectural composition of the store as well as in the display cases and furnishings. Small leather goods are placed on asymmetrical granite and marble tabletops with reflective brass bases.

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Barney’s New York. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

Cantilevered marble consoles with a hidden anchored steel base display fine jewelry throughout the department store. Smoked glass mirrors are used to reflect the bold, intriguing shapes, while adding a dramatic flair to the space. 

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Dolce and Gabbana Aoyama. Image courtesy of www.dolcegabbana.com.

Luxury fashion house Dolce and Gabbana in Ayoama, Tokyo designed by Curiosity, shows how the entrance and signage of a retail store plays a key role in introducing the brand to the public. The vertical wall application of the strategically matched four story Arabescato Corchia Marble is contrasted against black lacquer panels and used inside the storefront window displays. A large Grigio Carnico Marble sign above the entryway with matching diamond bookmatch on the sidewalk, invite customers to experience the store.

Bulgari London. Images courtesy of www.petermarinoarchitect.com.

Inspired by Elizabeth Taylor and her affection for Bulgari jewelry during the filming of Cleopatra, the Bulgari London boutique designed by Peter Marino mixes the grandeur of classical Roman architecture with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Carrara Marble is used throughout the store to create dramatic entryways and a striking staircase.

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Kelly Wearstler: How to Decorate with Stone Accessories

Stone slabs don’t just have to be for your countertop or bathroom. There are a myriad of uses for a stone application. Accessories and furniture are a great example of how to add a little stone interest to a space (without having to reinforce walls or rip up your kitchen).

Kelly Wearstler is one of the most prolific designers of our time. When she opened up her flag ship boutique in Melrose, she created a collection of tables, light fixtures and accessories that all included marble accents in one form or fashion.

Kelly has created several collections of stone furniture and accessories. All the products fear either marble or alabaster. These accent pieces and tables below will a depth and luxury in a designed area. Here are some of the pieces below.

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Growing up on the coast, in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Wearstler says that raw textured materials have always inspired her — and they continue to inform her design work today. She has also created a series of pedal-stool tables in black and white marbles. They are elegant and a little irreverent.

 

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