Blemishes & Imperfections ... or Characterist Beauty?
Every day stone fabricators create & install great looking countertops. Island size, countertop length, type of stone, color of stone, stone movement, miters, edges, curves, corners, kitchen access and other factors are key factors of complexity. Proceeding forward with a project brings with it a high level of potential issues and failure risk. One often choose to proceed in hopes of great beauty. Having realistic exceptions, is very important. Please keep the following points in mind as you develop your expectations. Our success and your happiness with the results, are directly connected to your expectations.
SIZE & SEAMS
Extra large countertops & islands are very hard to fabricate, transport, polish and at every step, the chances of countertop breakage, scratching or severe injuring to staff is very prevalent. After the fabrication, the task becomes even more challenging as the countertops must be moved to trucks & carefully secured for transport, and then into the home for instillation without the aid of hosts which aid in movement during fabrication. Hands on manpower lifting becomes the the only option. Great care needs to be taken to avoid staff injury & damage within the home. Seams great increase safety in fabrication and movement into your home.
TYPE & COLOR
The stone type must be always considered when judging the complexity of a project. Mother Nature is the most magnificent stone designer, she follows no rules and has an extreme sense of explorative creativity. This unpredictability, is what gives nature it's awe! This characteristic is also what makes countertop fabrication an art form. Every fabrication shop most use an array of artistic creative techniques during the fabrication process. Stains, agers, enhancer, waxes, adhesives, fillers, grinders, diamond brushes, and polishers are just a few of the tools & tricks fabricators work with. In fact, stone slab processes are also required to be creative when taking an exotic and rare 50 ton plus stone blocks, with imperfections and turning them into slices of stone weighing about 1,000 lbs each, which are then bundled to travel 6,000 plus nautical miles, followed by tough truck road miles to the fabricator. The slabs are moved a minimal of 20 times each before cutting on state of the art combo water jet & saw processors. It is hard to think of all the effort that is put into the mining, processing, transportation of stone countertop materials.
Each stone type has is own characteristics and liabilities. For example, Quartzite is the hardest to process, but yet is often viewed as the most exquisite of creative options. Quartzite is also one of the highest cost stones to work with. It's hardness, creative characteristics, rarity and highest cost, give Quartzite unique challenges.
SCRATCHES, BLEMISHES, IMPERFECTIONS
Natural Stone, Manufactured in most likely the most extreme conditions of heat and pressure, Could and may have imperfections. Then each stone is handled 20-40 times before it enters your home. It is amazing that an the stone industry has developed such effective procedures, and at the same time with the highest emphasis on safety with extremely heavy and fragile stone. Great effort is taken to avoid scratches, however how close one focuses on finding them is a factor. Examining a polished surface under special lighting at specific angles could show scratches others do not see. At every point during handling, the potential for scratches exists. Removing scratches seems like a solution but can lead to other concerns.
Design options are fun to work with but also can add great complexity with high potential for failure. Even with recommendations to avoid them, one may choose except the risk and to proceed. Build up miters, complex edges, shapes & textures can be very challenging, especially when combined with other fabricator risks.
All fabricators aim for 100% success and customer excitement. Great effort is focused on this by sales staff, project manages, shop personal, support staff & Installers. In some situations of concern, a go back can resolve the concern. At times the fabricator, knowing all of the factors and potential failures involved and although perfection was not 100% achieved, still views the project as great success and a great work of art. In contrast, the home owner is focused on small area they view as a blemish or imperfection. As we all know, this is a very frustrating situation for all involved.
We learn though life that attention to detail is important and perfection is desirable, we also learn to look at the big picture to see the full beauty around us. Mother natures materials with impressive character (which can also be viewed as imperfections & blemishes) is the canvas fabricators work with. Although we aim for perfection and 100% success, this is the canvas we choose to work with as a hand crafted medium, and is picked by the you to show the exquisite natural beauty of the countertops in your home. We hope, you see and feel in your heart what we see in your countertops.
One day I asked myself as I was admiring the stairs at a Victorian Estate, were the caved floral designs on the side of each stair step tread, hand carved or carved with some type water powered equipment? As I stepped closer, I could clearly see significant variations in the carvings, most likely due to skill level, wood density differences, cutting location and angle, as force had been applied to the cutting tool. The same stencil may have been used for the outline, but the execution showed clear differences in outcome. I stepped back and my eyes followed the stair carvings up the three stories of steps and then to the many carved pendents and several connecting posts with intricate vertical designs, rosettes and other complex carvings. One does wonder, did the original owner focus on inherent imperfections or did they step back and see the magnificent functional art, mother nature and man created? And could they have considered it would be appreciated with such admiration 150 years later, even with the added aging marks of time?