From counter tops to ballroom floors, natural stone has elegantly graced many interior design layouts. The pyramids of old, as well as today’s suburban homes, are all sites where limestone, granite and quartz have been featured as the natural stones of choice. As issues of cost, and now ecological sustainability, entered the dynamics of structural and interior design plans, the natural stone look became an engineering quest to create a perfect man-made alternative.
The innovation of man-made stone finds its roots in Italy. Considering the nation’s history of fine art, sculpture and gorgeous architecture from the Sistine Chapel to modest country villas, this comes as no surprise. Italy can thank Marcello Toncelli for one more claim to fame as the first man to engineer a product with the appearance of natural quartz. He founded a company in Castello di Godega, Italy in 1963. It was here that he developed his patented technology that, even today, is used by engineered stone manufacturers worldwide.
His success story was not one of a smooth, problem-free path. As he sought to use resins to bond together natural stone fragments air bubbles would invariably appear in the resin. His ingenious solution was to use a water bottle filled with a stone and resin mixture then beat it mercilessly with a hammer. The resulting product was what would make him famous in the annals of stone engineers.
Despite the fact that he was able to produce an artificial stone with the look of granite at a much more affordable price than the real thing, Toncelli’s stone had flaws. It was not as durable as granite. It scratched easily. Although the engineered stone featured veins that mimicked the appearance of genuine granite, even a shrewd amateur could always tell the fake from the authentic by detecting repetition in the pattern. Generations of creative engineers continued to embrace the challenge of creating an engineered stone that could not be distinguished from its authentic counterpart. Out of this quest a real winner emerged.
Engineered Stone Perfected
Crafting the perfect man-made stone is much more than knowing the right formulas and mixture ratios of ingredients. Understanding how heat affects the bonding of materials is only part of the undertaking. Without the passion of an artist with a creative vision, glory on the scale of ancient Babylonian artistry or Egyptian master masons will continue to remain just out of reach. There is something about balance and proportion that an artist understands that scientific, mathematical and engineering genius often underestimates. That is what has been lacking in every attempt to create the perfect engineered stone.
So what happens when the approach to create man-made stone that is identical and indistinguishable from natural stone incorporates artistic vision into technical engineering? Harmony is created. Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Divine Proportion” is mastered. The Golden Ratio is achieved, also called the “Aurea Ratio”, aurea meaning golden in the Latin language. In mathematics this artistic harmony is written as Phi, that special number, 1.618, used by artists to create perfect proportions. And when artistic philosophy blends with engineering skill, man-made stone that is authentically natural is created. The world then sees the arrival of AureaStone.
The Aurea Difference
Just as Toncelli patented his process for creating imitation granite, AureaStone has patented Phi technology. This technology doesn’t just replicate the look of a stone. Phi technology is able to recreate the stone. How is a stone created naturally? Through centuries of compression of its composition coupled with climactic conditions, such as moisture and temperature, a stone is born. Phi technology recreates the natural process. By copying nature’s temperature and materials composition, the Aurea porportion is achieved.
Instead of creating a clever imitation, Phi technology recreates natural stone. The reward is a final product that, down to the very finest detail, the stone appears natural. There is no repetitive vein pattern. Just as every stone in nature is unique, with each vein, dimple or glint its own one-of-a-kind characteristic, the same can be said of AureaStone. And now, those who covet the timeless beauty of stones such as marble no longer have to settle for obvious imitations. They can possess an object of beauty that would be the envy of even Da Vinci himself.