Artificial stone in a modern interior (part 1)
Stone is a symbol of stability and strength.
In interiors, marble looks elegant and dignified. Such products used to appear only in palaces and rich houses, as stone processing took a lot of time, effort, and cost a lot.
Our time is the age of speed, information, and innovation. The technology of cast stone appeared due to the discovery of polymers in the mid-twentieth century and made more accessible products made of marble, granite and onyx.
Artificial stone is a collective concept for various types of composite materials that imitate the appearance and similar properties to natural stone.
In order to understand the broad possibilities of the technology, we will tell you a little about it: if you do not go into details, then the products are created by casting a mold, as for creating sculptures from bronze. After all, the sculptor first sculpts a figure out of clay, after receiving the desired model, he starts producing a casting mold. It is believed that the first technology of casting bronze for simple jewelry and various items appeared about 12 thousand years ago. And now in this way we get products made of stone. Can you imagine liquid metal? Of course, it melts at high temperatures! What about liquid rock? And this happens?!?
Just the “fluidity of the stone” is the basis of this method. Natural marble, for example, is crushed to a fine fraction of sand, even flour, and mixed in a certain proportion with resin. Then, like molten bronze, this mixture is poured into a mold pre-lubricated with an anti-adhesive compound. When the product hardens, it is removed from the mold and ground, then polished.
Using this technology, copies of many sculptures were created in St. Petersburg, which are harmful to be in our damp climate in the open air. The originals are now in a safe place, and the weather and, sometimes, too curious visitors suffer their counterparts, cast in marble.
The summer garden marble sculpture collection is a unique collection of garden and Park decorative plastics. Most of the statues, busts and sculptural groups were brought to Russia from Italy at the beginning of the XVIII century by order of Peter the Great.
In June 2009, the Summer garden began replacing the original marble sculptures with modern replicas, and the entire collection was restored within three years. As soon as the monuments were ready, silicone castings were gradually removed from them and copies were made of artificial marble.
This method was first discussed for a long time by the restorers and the scientific Council, and was eventually unanimously approved. It was decided to make facsimile copies using the “sculptural casting” method.
Using the experience accumulated over the previous years and high-quality imported materials, which at that time had no domestic analogues, the specialists started creating copies.
Copying was the removal of silicone forms from the originals that had undergone restoration, and the production of copies by casting from natural marble chips and polyester resin. New technologies have made it possible to imitate marble with such a degree of reliability that it is almost impossible to visually distinguish real marble from artificial one.
Sculptural copies of this composition in their physical and mechanical characteristics surpass the originals several times. This material is more homogeneous and dense in structure and more plastic than natural marble, it does not contain a nutrient medium for microorganisms, there are no inclusions of metals that oxidize over time and change the color of the stone. Substances that block the destructive effect of ultraviolet rays are added to the cast composition. In addition, it is much easier to replace possible losses with a composition of marble chips and polyester resin than with marble.
This is such a magical technology!
Now she is helping not only to restorers. Cast marble can also appear in your home. In the kitchen, the windowsill, countertop and apron will last for many years, in the bathroom-wall panels, sink and bath will be in the same style, created according to your plan. After all, it is now not difficult!
Unlike products made of other types of stone, the use of polyester resin in cast marble gives it warmth, such an important property for the home. When you touch, for example, a bath made of cast marble, you will not feel the cold of the stone, it will be warm, and for a long time it will keep the temperature of the water that you type into it to soak in the warmth and relax.
One of the most interesting and difficult to manufacture using this technology is onyx. it turns out to be translucent and has a special aesthetic. Such products with internal lighting look great in the interior. Onyx can be used to make steps, wall panels, window sills, and many other interior details.
And in other things, the windowsill and table top will not surprise anyone!
But if you, dear readers, are interested in the topic of using cast stone in your home, then we will continue the conversation.
A woman in the kitchen spends most of her “home” time, so this part of the house should be arranged both functionally and conveniently, and to the taste of the hostess. Everyone’s tastes are certainly different, but the other parameters can be generalized.
The countertop is an important part of the kitchen. She takes the biggest share of the load, participating in all the kitchen chores – from making invigorating coffee and kneading dough for a birthday cake to cutting meat or other products for a sumptuous dinner. In addition, the countertop also plays an aesthetic role. That is why it can be called the basis of any kitchen.
Not every countertop after cooking can simply be wiped with a cloth. Many countertops can absorb stains and dirt, so it will not be so easy to wash them later. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to this item and choose a countertop that is enough care with the help of delicate tools. Cast stone just has a protective top coating-gelcoat. It does not allow you to paint the surface, LEGO rubs off the dirt.
You should take into account the overall style of the kitchen, so that the countertop fits into it properly. For example, the styles of country, Provence and Alpine Chalet are best suited to wood or its imitation, for modernity and futurism, artificial and natural stone are good. A modern kitchen in the loft or neoclassical style will look great with a matte gray-black table top made of cast stone. The surface can be plain or interspersed with large fractions of granite.
Casting technology will surprise you with a variety of textures, colors and shapes. You will only have one problem – the problem of choice!