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Marble Countertops: From Quarry to Kitchen

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Marble and granite slab countertops are practically a staple in most kitchens and bathrooms. But have you ever wondered just where those flawless stone slabs come from? Turns out, it’s quite the journey!

We’re following the process of one of our go-to suppliers, Terrazzo and Marble Supply. On their blog, they chronicle several journeys as to how they mine and shape their slabs in their “The Story Behind the Stone” series.

Image via Terrazzo and Marble Supply

The journey begins in a quarry in remote areas of Italy, Brazil, and even as close to home as Vermont. Marble and granite are mined from the earth in large chunks, almost like loaves of bread. Once a chunk, called a “bundle,” is chosen, it’s most often shipped to Italy to be cut and polished.

To achieve the tight, granular patterns, the stone is sliced vertically, like one would slice a loaf of bread. For the striated patterns (otherwise known as vein-cut) and for those that have a soft flow or movement that have become more popular in the past few years, it is sliced horizontally, from top to bottom.

Though no two natural stones are alike, it’s important to be sure to purchase consecutive slabs from the same bundle. Patterns on such consecutive pieces are more likely to flow and fit together better, as opposed to slabs from two different ends, or completely different bundles.

Once the pieces are cut and treated, they’re then shipped all over the world to be sold. The next time you’re admiring your granite countertops, think of all the places it’s been before it ended up in your kitchen!

Susan Brunstrum

Chair Building with Kravet

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ll share a secret, I love manufacturing and plant tours! I’ve been behind the scenes to see and understand how beer, whiskey, jelly beans, chocolate, IV bags, surgeon’s gloves, catalogs, cough syrup, light fixtures, surgical instruments and even jewelry is made. And I am probably forgetting as many tours as I have mentioned.

Recently I had the opportunity to watch Steve Bolick, Head of Customization at Kravet, build a chair while attending a conference in Houston with Design Trust Ltd., a national think-tank of designers. It was fascinating! Each piece is bench-made in the US by this 100-year-old American company. The hardwood frames are guaranteed for life, and the springs are eight-way hand-tied for durability – that’s a tricky technique! The most skilled workers in a furniture factory are the ones who hand-tie seats. It requires a high level of precision and dexterity to do this complicated task.

We often select Kravet because we believe the craftsmanship, quality of materials and variety of fabrics – more than 60,000 – are all top notch. We customize each piece by size, finish and fabric to make it work with our clients’ lifestyles and personalities. From placing an order to the day of delivery takes roughly six to ten weeks. That might sound like a long time, but it’s actually pretty speedy considering the amount and quality of work that goes into each piece. And Kravet continues to make my favorite – our Sweet Peas Design custom designed angled love seats. And Steve inspects each and every one before it leaves the Kravet factory.

Susan Brunstrum

 

 

 

 

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