Stories in Stone


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Nash, photographs by Richard M. Wicker, with contributions by James W. Hagadorn and Tatiana Muntian. Copyright Clearance Center. The complex folding and reworking of the micritic limestone during Miocene deformation, which also metamorphosed the Carrara marble, produced the distinctive and beautiful stylolitic veining that characterizes the stone. Four- to eight-inch-wide shear zones separate undeformed layers up to eight inches thick. Sorry for the bad coloring. This stone is black. The purple is light reflected from Cherry wood paneling.

The black coloring primarily comes from small amounts of organics in anaerobic environments.

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Limonite and sulfides produce the yellow banding with dolomite mosaics and hematite forming more violet veins. The building architect, John Graham Sr. He also incorporated Italian travertine and some sort of purple brecciated stone, which I know nothing about. Someday I hope to figure out that part of the story. Curiously, the Portoro is a stone of warm places, such as northern Africa and Sicily. When weathered, it loses its brilliance and appears "irreversibly opaque, whitened and corroded," according to one study of it. You can see this in Seattle at the entrance to Shucker's Restaurant on 4th Avenue, just north of Seneca.

Next up will be the elegant lobby of the Smith Tower. Labels: italy , la spezia , portoro. Wednesday, February 2, Louis Kahn and Travertine. Last night, I watched a fascinating documentary about the iconoclastic architect Louis Kahn. As the title implies, My Architect: A Son's Journey , follows Kahn's son Nathaniel as he attempts to discover the father he didn't know. Kahn was one of the greatest and most complex architects of the twentieth century. He also designed astounding buildings in Bangladesh and India.

What he was less known for was that he had three families, one with his wife and two through long-term affairs.


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All three produced children. The movie is well worth watching not only for Kahn's fascinating life but also for his stunning architecture. What I like best about his work is his use of geometric shapes. He punctuates his walls with angles and arches and circles, allowing an ever changing interplay of light and shadow. Each design brings the buildings to life as they change shape throughout the day.

His use of geometric shapes also connects his buildings to the landscape, not necessarily in an organic way, but in a way that continues the weaving of the ephemeral and the permanent. And finally, Kahn appears to have been quite the fan of travertine. His use of it at the Salk Institute foreshadows and seems to have inspired Richard Meier's use of the stone at the Getty Museum.

Stories in Stone Read From Ancient Leaves | Science | Smithsonian

Below are some photos I found on the web that to me are some of the most notable uses of travertine. I hope you'll agree. Kimball Art Museum detail from flickr. Salk Institute from Daily Icon. Salk Institute details from Daily Icon. Salk Institute seats from Premier Green. Yale Museum for British Art from flickr. Labels: louis kahn , travertine. Tuesday, January 4, The Crocodile and the Countertop.

Stories in Stone

Late last year came reports of the dinosaur in the duomo. Now, comes the tale of the countertop crocodile. The new story begins in in Portomaggiore Ferrara, Italy , when stonecutter Mr. Pasini observed what he thought were fossil bones in a block of yellowish-red limestone destined for a countertop. After the cutting the block into four slabs, Pasini saved the stone. Neptunidracos ' streamlined body, Illustration by Davide Bonadonna. Happy geologists Cau and Fanti from Cau's blog.

Ammonite from Baptistry Battistero of Parma from Wikicommons. Labels: limestone , neptunidraco. Older Posts Home. Subscribe to: Posts Atom.


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In the early 20th century, Leekya, along with artists such as Teddy Weahkee and Leo Poblano, began carving fetishes for personal use. Wallace, a savvy trader who owned the C. Wallace Trading Post in Zuni and the De Anza Motor Lodge in Albuquerque, saw a marketing opportunity, and the work of Zuni carvers became a mainstream commercial success.

A Leekya bear tilts its head to one side and opens its mouth into a wide smile. His frogs, squat and round, beg to be scooped up into your palm. Leekya Deyuse, known simply as Leekya working in his studio in the midth century. Photography Courtesy Albuquerque Museum. I recently stopped by Keshi to see some Leekya family fetishes, and as I browsed cases brimming with Zuni work, Fox pulled out a box of roughly hewn turquoise figures.

Stories in Stones

He was just outside the box. I have a very positive visceral reaction to his work. The spirit is just strong in his work. Wallace had in its popularity. This prompted Deb Slaney, a curator at the Albuquerque Museum, to tap into her years of research on the collection, beginning with a large portion housed at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The exhibition focuses on the commercial aspect of carving at Zuni Pueblo, which emerged in the early 20th century.

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