Tag Archive | "Artisan Group"

Fabricator Profile: Solid Surfaces Inc. Stays on the Cutting Edge

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Fabricator Profile: Solid Surfaces Inc. Stays on the Cutting Edge

Posted on 27 January 2017 by CRadmin3

Screen-Shot-2016-01-12-at-8.17.12-AMSolid Surfaces Inc. was one of the first solid-surface fabricators to automate its shop, and the company takes pride in staying on the cutting edge of surface materials and fabrication processes. After updating the business’s software, Mitch Makowski, president of Solid Surfaces Inc., found that he and his team could communicate more efficiently, which streamlined the entire fabrication process.

To keep Solid Surfaces Inc. at the forefront of technology, the company formed a partnership with DuPont to field test new processes for fabricators, and the technicians at Solid Surfaces have been able to provide feedback that has helped shape and refine these techniques.

For the last 30 years, Solid Surfaces Inc. has been headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and today, the original shop is accompanied by a sister facility in Buffalo with a separate division, Florida Surfaces LLC, located in Orlando. The company is accredited by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and is a member of The Artisan Group.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Solid Surfaces Inc. – Customer Profile

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Artisan Group Launches Aventine Quartz Line

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Artisan Group Launches Aventine Quartz Line

Posted on 08 June 2016 by cradmin

Artisan group Aventine QuartzArtisan Group, a North American group of 35 countertop fabricators, launched its exclusive Aventine Quartz line with 23 colors. The color palette is contemporary with whites such as Luxe, Glacial and Titanium White; grays like Concrete, Graphite and Sage Honed; and veined marbles like Calacatta Aventine, Toffee and Vogue. Aventine joins the group’s offerings of Artisan Stone Collection granite and marble, Saratoga Soapstone and Heritage Wood countertops.

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Artisan Group Selects New Board Members

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Artisan Group Selects New Board Members

Posted on 03 April 2014 by cradmin

The Artisan Group, a collection of countertop fabricators that work together to cover most of the United States and Canada, have brought on two new board members for 2014. The new members are Scott Lardner, owner of Rocky Mountain Stone in Albuquerque, N.M., and former MIA president, and Hunter Adams, of Trindco, in Suffolk, Va., and former ISFA president. Lardner and Adams succeed charter members Layton Day, owner of Bangor Wholesale Laminates in Bangor, Me., and Brad Pearce, owner of Front Range Stone in Englewood, Colo.

The remainder of the board includes Joe Hoffman of Hoffman Fixtures in Tulsa, Okla.; Fadi Halabi of Duracite in Fairfield, Calif.; Kelli Akins of Innovative Surfaces in Hastings, Minn.; Tom Rocks of Rocksolid Stone Works in Cleveland; and Chad Seiders of Architectural Granite & Marble in Austin.

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Soapstone: ‘Original’ Stone Countertops Getting Hotter with Chefs and Designers

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Soapstone: ‘Original’ Stone Countertops Getting Hotter with Chefs and Designers

Posted on 18 March 2013 by CRadmin2

Soapstone is often referred to as “the original stone countertop.” This is because soapstone deposits were first formed up to 400 million years ago, and these deposits are located in all corners of the globe. Soapstone has been used for thousands of years by cultures of all types as cookware, countertops and ovens.

Soapstone History

Soapstone is composed of talc, silicate, magnesium, chlorite and other trace minerals. The name soapstone was chosen for this natural stone because its high talc content gives it a soft texture not unlike a bar of soap.

The soapstone deposits being quarried today formed only after millions of years of exposure to heat and pressure fluctuations deep inside the Earth’s crust. Large soapstone quarries and distribution hubs first developed in the India and in the Middle East, but today, the largest distribution centers are in Brazil, Finland and the United States.

Soapstone Properties

Soapstone has several properties that make it ideal for many environments and situations. If you do not remember where you first encountered soapstone, it may be from the table that was under your Bunsen burner in high-school chemistry lab. Soapstone is a favorite material for chemists because it can withstand temperatures of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and is chemically inert.

Right now, soapstone countertops are surging in popularity because they are attractive, resist the spread of microbes and are difficult to stain. Soapstone is also a great change of pace from traditional types of stone, which have been overused in recent years.

Although color choices for soapstone are limited, it is elegant, and its use adds enduring value to any project. The unique, warm grain and veining that runs through soapstone makes up for a color palette that consists of only a few shades of green, gray, blue and black.

One reason why some people are hesitant to choose soapstone as a countertop material is because it is not as strong as some other popular materials. However, when properly cared for, a soapstone countertop can remain in great shape for well over a century. In addition, scratches and nicks can often be buffed out with just a touch of sanding.

Soapstone Uses

Soapstone is most often used in the kitchen, and it is the countertop of choice for many gourmet chefs around the world. It is also very high in demand by kitchen designers who want to show just how versatile this material is. One large organization of countertop fabricators to take action to meet this demand is the Artisan Group, which recently launched its own line of soapstone: Saratoga Soapstone.

Soapstone is not only a popular surfacing for kitchens, but it can also be used for sinks, bathtub surrounds and other bathroom applications. It is not uncommon to use vertical soapstone slabs or tiles for shower walls. Its high traction and warmth also makes it ideal for use as bathroom flooring, and its heat resistance makes it ideal for fireplaces and hearths.

Caring for Soapstone

Soapstone does not require as much care as many other countertop materials do. These countertops can be cleaned with most household cleaners because  they are resistant to both acids and bases. However, a non-abrasive cleaner will prevent scratches and unnecessary wear. In addition, soapstone does not need to be sealed or conditioned, but many homeowners like to apply mineral oil or specialty products such as Saratoga Wax. This is because soapstone naturally darkens with age, and these products can make the darkening process spread evenly throughout the surface.

Fabricating Soapstone

Soapstone is not only popular with homeowners and designers, but it is also very popular with countertop fabricators. This soft stone can be cut quickly and easily without infringing on its quality. Not only can soapstone work be performed with standard stone-cutting tools, many woodworkers have found that their tools are also sufficient.

Professional fabricators, such as those at the Artisan Group, generally use a combination of saws and waterjets to cut soapstone. It can then be finished on a CNC machine or by hand. Soapstone is also safe to work with, and no special regulations must be followed other than standard safety protocol.

A Final Word on Soapstone

Using soapstone countertops, such as those made from Saratoga Stone, opens the door to many unique design options. Long a preferred choice for kitchen countertops, soapstone brings together the best of style, function and versatility. Contrasting patterns and shading add to stone’s natural beauty, imparting a unique appearance that can never be exactly duplicated.

Special thanks to the Artisan Group, who provided the basis of this article, as well as the photos.

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Artisan Group of Countertop Fabricators Inducts 2 New Board Members

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Artisan Group of Countertop Fabricators Inducts 2 New Board Members

Posted on 04 February 2013 by cradmin

Artisan Group, a network of stone fabricators in North America, inducted two new board members: Fadi Halabi, owner of Duracite in Fairfield, Calif., and Tom Rocks, owner of Rocksolid Stone Works in Cleveland, Ohio. Halabi and Rocks are taking the slots vacated by members, Mitch Hires, owner of Construction Resources in Atlanta, Ga., and Gus Blume, owner of Blume’s Solid Surfaces in Pittsburgh, Pa., after serving their two-year terms. Halabi and Rocks join Brad Pearce, owner of Front Range Stone in Denver, Colo., Layton Day, owner of Bangor Wholesale Laminates in Bangor, Maine, Kellie Akins, aales & marketing manager of Innovative Surfaces in Minneapolis, Minn., and Joe Hoffman, Jr., owner of Hoffman Fixtures Company in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., as well as Artisan Group executive director Chad Seiders to complete the board.

Halabi, originally from Jordan, attended San Francisco State and graduated from UC Berkeley. At the age of 23, after only a few years, Halabi became owner and President of Duracite. Halabi now has 24 years in the countertop fabrication business and has expanded Duracite to a network of nine locations throughout Northern California and Nevada. Duracite provides surfacing fabrication and installation to both commercial and residential clients, including design, manufacture and installation of granite, marble, soapstone, Heritage Wood, quartz and recycled products.

After studying business and accounting at Cleveland State University in 1979, Rocks began his entrepreneurial career with a small custom cabinet shop in Cleveland, Ohio that quickly grew into Wood Dimensions Inc. His vision to grow the business expanded with solid surface fabrication and a new corporate division called Solid Surfaces Plus was born. Rocks’ broad experience with solid surfaces grew into yet another company division for stone fabrication leading the company to form Rocksolid Stone Works. Rocksolid Stone Works and Solid Surfaces Plus now offer one of the largest selections of stone and solid surfacing in Northern Ohio.

The original woodwork shop, Wood Dimensions Inc., is also one of Northern Ohio’s premier fabricators of custom cabinetry, woodwork, millwork and casework for large-scale commercial projects and residential homes. The company’s three divisions have earned multiple awards for craftsmanship.

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