Indianapolis, Greenwood, Noblesville, Franklin, Zionsville, Whitestown, Lafayette, Columbus, Martinsville, Bloomington, Carmel, Ft. Wayne, Plainfield, Shelbyville, Rushville, Richmond, Terre Haute, Madison, Aurora, Lawrenceburg, Bright, Dunkirk, etc.
Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Hamilton, Harrison, Fairfield, Loveland, Oxford, Lebanon, Goshen, Batavia, Springfield, Xenia, Bexley, Blanchester, Hillsboro, Wilmington, Georgetown, Chillicothe, etc.
Louisville, Lexington, Danville, Frankfort, Newport, Maysville, Cambell, Carlisle, Bloomfield, Bedford, Augusta, Richmond, Warsaw, Alexandria, etc.
(Musings of a Stone Designer)
Saturday, September 12 2009
Riding on the wings of the inspiration gained from my first ever Stone Fabricator's Alliance Workshop, I decided to finally start a blog.
The workshop was held at the Morris Granite Company showroom and shop in Illinois during Labor Day weekend.
Morris Granite shop, where we got to see all the machines. (photo courtesy of SFA member, "Kowboy")
Around 60 stone fabricators (all male), 10 venders of stone equipment and supplies, two fabricators' wives, and I were in attendance. The "macho-fest" included a plethora of bonding activities. Rifle shooting at the hunt club, a round of golf, a poker game, a pig roast, a machine shop tour, cutting and polishing demonstrations, and plenty of "guy food" and beer ensued.
Pete has been to many SFA sessions demonstrating stone equipment and fabrication techniques, but the topics covered at this workshop had a refreshing twist. Instead of presentations about saw blades, "top-polishing" and "seaming" granite, the discussions centered around show-rooms, customer service, and web sites. It was also interesting to see these tough guys show their creative sides.
Dan Riccolo, owner of Morris Granite, had lots of treasures in his shop. Here's a piece of granite with a farm scene hand-etched onto the surface.
...and a one-of-a-kind carved, granite sink. (http://www.morrisgranite.com/)
I had my doubts at first, but in the end I'm so glad that Pete suggested I go along. I gathered a ton of "information nuggets" I can't wait to incorporate into our company, The Stone Studio.
Meeting Antonio, a fellow fabricator from Canada, was one of the highlights of the SFA event. Antonio turned out to be my "soul-mate" when it comes to stone. His design/company's philosophy seemed to embody our slogan, "Stone is nature's art"--own an original!"
A stone sculpture from Antonio's showroom. (photo courtesy of Anna Almonte, Antonio's wife)
Antonio, who takes great pride in the beauty of his stone work, shared with me a favorite quote of his own:
"Those who work with their hands are tradesmen,
Those who work with their hands and minds are craftsmen,
But those who work with their hands, minds, and hearts are artisans."
Someday I'd love to visit Antonio's showroom, which he described as resembling an art gallery. It is complete with stone sculptures, spotlights, and "artist's name and title cards." His displays include vessel sinks fashioned into a form suggesting potted flowers, and a huge glass window framing his boardroom like a giant canvas. He even opens his showroom to local artists to be used as a venue to show their own work.
Here are 2 photos of Antonio's showroom during construction. That's Antonio standing in the second photo.
His company's web site is www.rivercitystone.ca but he is currently working on a new site.
(photos courtesy of Anna Almonte)
Antonio's muse is Antolini Luigi, a spectacular natural stone showroom in Italy. Take a look at these pictures and you'll see why this place inspires him so much!
They don't have any granite showrooms like this in Indiana!
Unbelievable inlaid stone art!
Like any artist will tell you, "It's all in the presentation."
(Photos courtesy of