Business Stone, March 2009
It is said that handicraft is too expensive for the industrialised world. Sara Baldwin, however, has demonstrated that handicraft combined with design can, indeed, be produced in the Western countries. Her collections meet the needs and taste of the public, as her turn-over shows: Baldwin finds her motifs in nature utilising marble and granite.
“Palm Frond” is copied form the palm plant and makes use of tumbled Chartreuse and Verdi Alpi. “Bamboo”: unmistakably inspired by the shrub; here the artist used honed Verna Luna and polished Emperador Dark. For further information on Metamorphosis comprising 18 works of art, see the artist's webpage.
110 persons are working on mosaics in Exmore in the state of Virginia. Since 1991, when the designer founded the Ravenna Mosaic and Stone company, basic materials are imported from all over the globe. They are cut to size locally with the help of a water jet and then set into place by hand. Templates assure accuracy of fit - especially important for large areas. The pieces used measure 30" x 84" (76.2 cm x 213.36 cm).
But it is not only the motifs taken from nature, the implementation of natural stone and the handicraft, which make Sara Baldwin's products unique. The company stresses that she also custom-designs pieces to fit the individual wishes of her clients. BusinessStone.com cautiously inquired if the customer may make his own suggestions and the answer was “we welcome it!”. Choice also includes the use of stone types other than those regularly used by the designer, or other surfaces, designs, sizes and colours - “it can all change”, we were told.
In such cases, the client may have to wait 4 - 6 weeks before his order can be completed, whereas catalogue orders, take about 1 - 3 weeks for completion. Showrooms are situated all across the country for interested parties in the USA. Clients from abroad are invited send an email to find showrooms in their proximity.
Prices for Bamboo or Palm Frond are about $125 / ft² (approx 0.09 m²) and can run up to $375 depending on pattern and material. The mosaic can be used for flooring as well as for walls.
Look for a series called “Silk Road”, showing a traditional Asian design, which will be coming out soon.