Alabaster is the name given to two main types of sedimentary rocks. One type is composed mostly of gypsum, which is mostly calcium, sulfur and water. Gypsum alabaster is soft and is easily carved into statues, vases, and ornimental pieces. The other type of alabaster is composed of calcite, which is harder than gypsum alabaster. Calcite alabaster forms mostly in caves and appears as stalactites, stalagmites and on cave walls. There is also alabasters that are unique to their own geographic locations like oriental alabaster near Florence, Italy and Egyptian alabaster near Thebes, Egypt. Alabaster is sometimes confused with onyx because of its translucency. It is sometimes referred to as false onyx.
Aluminum is silver colored metal that can be formed into almost any shape. Aluminum does not rust and has a high resistance to weather and chemicals. Pure aluminum is very soft and is almost always mixed with other metals to become an alloy (mix) to give it considerably more strength. Such metal would include copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, lead, etc. Silicon is added to aluminum to lower its melting point and makes it ideal for casting sculptures. Aluminum can be finished in more ways than any other metal. It can be mechanically finished, such as engraved or embossed. Chemically finished with acids or alkaline, which etches designs into it. Anodized, a process where the aluminum (and many other metal and alloys as well) is submerged in a solution called an electrolyte. An electrical charge is passed through the piece and the solution causes a chemical reaction to occur. This results in a coating to be deposited on the piece, this process is also known as electroplating. Aluminum can also have applied finishes, such as paint, plastic films, and even stain if treated with certain chemicals that allow the aluminum to accept a stain.
This is sometimes called cast marble. It is a man made product consisting of marble dust (calcium carbonate) and polyester resin. The type of resin used in bonded marble products is crystal clear and sometimes referred to as casting resin. This type of resin costs more to produce thus adding more to the cost of the finished product. Bonded marble products are solid cast and heavier than their polyresin counter parts. The calcium carbonate in the bonded marble creates a semi porous surface that has a very unique look and feel. The calcium carbonate also makes the piece pure white and allows for a very high degree of detail. Most bonded marble products are made in Italy where they have the whitest marble in the world. Other names for bonded marble are; cast marble, cultured marble, bonded carra marble. Please see our What is Bonded Marble? page. You can also see our wonderful selection of Bonded Marble statues in our Bonded Marble Products section.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. The amount of copper in brass ranges from 55% to 95%. When the brass has around 70% copper is has a golden yellow color and is sometimes called high brass. Other elements like lead, tin, nickel, aluminum, iron and manganese are added to improve strength, corrosion resistance, and color. The development of brass came after bronze. Because zinc has a lower melting point than copper, the zinc evaporates before the copper completely melts and mixes with it. It was discovered that adding charcoal to the mix, (which floats on the top and keeps the zinc form evaporating), delays the evaporation of the zinc until the copper can completely melt and mix with it. Once cooled the charcoal is easily removed from the top layer of the brass. Brass, like bronze, may be treated with acids to produce a patina. Darker patinas with bright brass produce a wonderful contrast in color. Care must be taken when cleaning brass, as to not remove any patina that may be present, see product care.
Bronze is an alloy made primarily of copper and tin. Up to 25% of tin may be in bronze as well as other elements like lead, zinc, or phosphorus. The mix is what the sculptor has chosen to use for their sculpture at the time of casting. More phosphorus would be used on larger sculptures because it makes the bronze stronger. Lead makes bronze softer if it's to be machined or worked after the casting. Zinc is added to bronze to make it more yellow. If enough zinc is added to the bronze it becomes brass. Most bronze sculptures are cast using the lost wax method meaning the plaster or porcelain mold along with the wax is lost after each individual casting. This method of casting also makes the bronze hollow. After casting the bronze may be treated with various types of acid that react with the copper and causes a color change, such a color change is called a patina. Bronzes can have more than one patina. After the desired patinas are applied the bronze is usually sealed with a wax to preserve the patina from oxidation. Therefore care must be taken when cleaning bronze sculptures as to not remove the wax or sealant, or damage to the patina could occur see product care. Bronzes that are meant to be left outside will age to a natural patina on its own. Bronze corrodes very slowly and can last for hundreds of years outdoors.
Cast iron is an alloy of iron, carbon, and silicon. Because of its high carbon content cast iron cannot be forged (shaped) when it is heated like wrought iron is. Cast iron is limited to, just like it sounds, castings. It is very hard and rusts. Sculptures made from cast iron and left out doors to rust on a pedestal take on a very distinctive look as the sculpture rusts and stains the pedestal it is on. However, be warned, if a cast iron piece is left on a porch, deck or steps the surrounding area could be permanently stained. We can get many different pieces in cast iron, if you are looking for something particular in cast iron please let us know. We would be glad to help you find it.
For our purpose here we will refer to cast metal as any piece of metal casting that does not fall into the bronze, brass, cast iron or aluminum category. Most of our cast metal sculptures contain copper, aluminum, lead or tin, in varying amounts. Most cast metal products have patinas and are difficult to distinguish from bronzes. However they don't contain enough copper to be considered bronze or enough zinc to be considered brass so we have classified them as cast metal.
Ceramics are one of the three most engineered materials in the world, the other two being metals and plastics. Ceramics include such things as brick, cement, glass, pottery and porcelain. These are all considered ceramics. Most ceramics are composed of silicates, which include clay, feldspar, silica, and talc. Ceramics can withstand great heat, chemicals and gases. The clays used for ceramics are dug from the Earth and then refined for purity. Other minerals may be added to produce a particular product. Ceramics are molded in several different ways, casting, jiggering, extrusion, pressing, etc. After the clay is formed and allowed to dry it is fired in a special oven called a kiln. This firing hardens the piece. Glaze may be applied before or after the initial firing process. Some pieces are fired more than once, like raku. Glaze is used for water proofing, decoration, and makes them easy to keep clean.
Concrete is a mixture of Portland cement sand or gravel and water. Concrete used in statuary and fountains is often air-entrained, that is it has small air bubbles put in to it during the mixing process. Air bubbles are introduced into the cement either by adding special resins or fatty material to the mix. These air bubbles allow the water in hardened concrete to expand and contract during freezing and thawing conditions. Statuary concrete may also have lightweight shale, clays or pumice added in place of the sand or gravel. The addition of these materials makes the concrete products lighter and easier for moving and placement of pieces.
Fossilized coral stone is a metamorphic rock formed from an ancient ocean that was full of marine and plant life. Changes in the earths crust caused the ancient ocean to be buried. Scientists believe that a shift in the tectonic plates caused the continents to shift and collide with one another. This raised the ocean floor and formed the Himalayan Mountains. The mountains and surrounding ranges are a treasure trove of marine fossil, marble, onyx, quartz and many other sought after rocks and minerals.
This is a type of pottery or Earthenware that belongs to the ceramics family. For our purposes here we will refer to earthenware/pottery as clay based product that is fired at lower temperatures, unlike most ceramics that are fired at higher temperatures. These lower temperatures allow for brighter and stronger colors because the lower temperatures do not harm the glaze during the firing process. Most earthenware/pottery is thicker and heavier than porcelain products. Earthenware/pottery is prized for its cultural designs and motifs. The Chinese, Africans, Europeans, North and South Americans all have their own style of earthenware and pottery.
Fiberstone is a Fiberglass product with a mixture of sand and stones cast into the surface. This Technique gives the surface a texture that feels and looks like stone. Many different stone looks can be created using the casting and finishing methods used in Fiber Stone. Fiberstone and Fiberglass products are very popular today. As they are light weight, durable and will take the year around weather. You can learn more about FiberStone at our Fiberglass and Fiberstone page.
A sedimentary and metamorphic rock, composed of limestone and organic material. This organic material was quickly buried and put under enormous pressure from several feet of other materials. This pressure causes the sedimentary organic materials to under go a chemical change in which crystallization of the sedimentary materials occurs. The result, after many years, is a fossilized stone, which resembles marble in hardness and its ability to be polished. Each of our fossil stone pieces is individually unique, each with different plant life, worms, snails, slugs, and various other organisms.
Glass is a material that is made up of mostly silica sand (silicon dioxide), soda ash (sodium carbonate), and limestone (calcium carbonate). There are numerous types of glass, so many; in fact, we are just going to describe the few different types we carry in our store. Our stained glass products are authentic, that is they have coloring agents such as cobalt oxide for blue or copper oxide for red. These coloring agents are added during the glass making process and become a permanent part of the glass. There is another type of stained glass that is painted or treated with chemicals to give it color. We do not carry this type of stained glass products. Another type of glass we carry is cameo glass. This type of glass is laminated (layered), each layer being a different color. During the manufacturing process part of the top layer is cut into a design and removed. The result is a piece of two or more colors that has raised parts of different colors. Another type of glass we carry is our ground or cut glass, some of these pieces are laminated like our cameo but instead of being cut and discarding part of the glass it is ground or cut through the top layer. This way the lower layer is exposed. Many patterns and designs are possible with this method. The ground/cut glass method is also done on pieces of a single color usually clear this allows for light to be refracted (bent) off of its many facets producing a wonderful sparkling display. The ground/cut method is also done on lead crystal glass. Crystal glass has a high percentage of lead oxide, which causes more refraction than normal glass and produces more sparkling colors. There are many other glass production methods used if you have questions about any type of glass product please contact us for further details. Also it should be noted that most glass products have small air bubbles (called a seed). The bubbles are slight imperfections and considered a normal part of the glass making process. Most types of glass have these imperfections. Window glass is almost free of air bubbles because it is drawn onto a vat of molten tin. The glass is allowed to float on the perfectly smooth surface of the molten tin. However this near perfect glass (float glass) is limited to flat sheets.
Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral composed mostly of calcium sulfate and water. When gypsum is heated it loses about ¾ of its water. After the water is removed and the gypsum is cooled what is left behind is a powder called plaster of paris. Water can then be added to plaster of paris to form a paste and when allowed to dry becomes hard. Plaster of paris can be used to make drywall, castings and various other industrial uses. In general gypsum based products are not waterproof and need to be used indoors. However gypsum may be modified with polymers like Forton to become very strong. (see Hydrocal) Gypsum can also be modified to the point it becomes waterproof.
Hydrocal is a gypsum based cement modified with any number of possible additives. For example, polymers, and portland cement. The list is long so for simplicity our definition of Hydrocal will be any gypsum based product that has a modifier in it. The term Hydrocal is used loosely in the industry, the more accurate term would be modified gypsum. It should be noted that although we are using the term Hydrocal loosely to describe many products, Hydrocal is a brand name of United States Gypsum and has it's own specific formula. However manufactures of Hydrocal products are reluctant to use the term gypsum because when some people hear this term they think of drywall. The soft chalky stuff we put on our walls. In reality modified gypsum can be made to be water proof and stronger than cement. Also modified gypsum has faster set times and lower weights than their cement counter parts. It allows for higher detail that won't chip off during the demolding process. It is cost effective to produce. Modified gypsum may contain acrylics, polymers, and portland cement. It may also have hemp, plastic, or metallic fibers in it to give it even greater strength.
Lucite is an acrylic resin. When it is in a liquid state it can be cast into just about any form or shape including sheets, blocks or sculptures. When Lucite dries it is crystal clear and is valued for this property. Lucite is used as a substitute for glass in products like windows, lighting fixtures and house wares. Lucite is about 17 times stronger than glass. Lucite can be cast in solid and translucent colors as well. It is prized for its translucency in sculptures. It has great resistance to weather and chemicals. The surface can be etched to give an opaque appearance. When a piece is placed on or near a light source a dramatic luminescent effect occurs.
Brand names; Lucite, Optix, Acrylite FF, Perspex
Marble is a metamorphic rock. It is formed from limestone, by the intrusion of igneous rock. The result of heat and pressure causes the calcite in the limestone to recrystalize then form new minerals. The new formation depends on the minerals present, the amount of heat from the igneous rock and the amount of pressure. The results are a wide variety of colors. Some marble contains more calcite and make them more translucent. As with many metamorphic rocks marble is sometimes used to describe a wide range of minerals that closely resemble it, like serpentine, onyx, alabaster. In general the more opaque formations are referred to as marble and the more translucent ones are referred to as onyx.
These pieces are sculptures or pieces of furniture that has various types of metal that make up their structure, such as sheet metal, copper, rods, wire, steel mesh, aluminum ect. They might be bolted, welded or fastened together and may be painted, electroplated, engraved or have a patina applied to them. It includes pieces that have been rolled, pressed, extruded, ground or shaped and may contain pieces from other mediums, like wood, plastic, and glass. For more exact physical properties of a piece please contact us we would be glad to give you more information.
Our original oil paintings are hand painted using oil paints and silicon for texture. Most of the paintings are done on canvas; however some are on other forms of media. These could be rice paper or other types of textured fiber board to give a unique appearance. Our oil paintings are not stretched or mounted to frames, as there are many types and styles of frames to suite each individuals taste. Our measurements on our oil paintings are from painted edge to painted edge, not to canvas edge to canvas edge. So when the oil painting is stretched and mounted the picture will be slightly smaller than the measurement not including the frame.
Onyx is a term used to describe a variety of various fine grained quartz. Quartz rocks are divided in to two groups, macro and crypto crystalline. The macro crystalline group has crystals that are visible to the naked eye. Some varieties of macro crystalline quartz are rose quartz and smoky quartz. Onyx belongs to the crypto crystalline family, it has crystals to small for the eye to see and a microscope is necessary. Onyx is formed from igneous rock that have penetrated quartz crystals in sedimentary rock. The heat causes the quartz crystals to bond with surrounding materials such as hedenbergite, rutile, tourmaline, zoizite, etc. These materials cause the quartz crystals to appear green, blue, red, yellow, white, to near black. These materials also cause the quartz crystals to vary from transparent to opaque. Other names for onyx are banded agate and chalcedony.
A film of varying color that is naturally or artificially on bronze, brass, copper and cast metal products. Patinas that are artificially introduced are usually acidic chemicals that react with the metals and cause a color change. After the desired colors are obtained the patinas are sealed with a wax or other coating that keeps the metal from oxidizing and loosing its patina. Care should be taken when cleaning products with patinas as they could be permanently damaged (see product care). The natural patinas come from aging or oxidization as time passes pieces that are left outside create their own natural patina. The color of patina depends on the type of minerals in the piece. They can range from dark brown to light brown, from green to blue green, rust or near black. It should be noted that if left outside and unprotected, pieces that have artificial patinas on them would loose their artificial patina colors and eventually become a natural colored patina.
Polyester resin is a type of plastic resin (a liquid). When polyester resin is mixed with small amounts of styrene (a hardener or catalyst) a chemical reaction occurs and causes the resin to change from a liquid to a solid. There are many different types of Polyresin, each with its own chemical formulas that are used in a wide range of applications. Polyresin, once hardened, is very durable, water proof, and lightweight. It is used widely in the automotive and marine industries. This also makes it an ideal medium for outdoor statuary, fountains and pedestals. Polyester resin is usually semi transparent in color. A pigment or coloring agent may be added to the resin while it is still in its liquid state. This colored Polyresin is sometimes called gel coat. Polyresin can also be painted and finished with almost any kind of paint. However, acrylics are most often used because this type of paint takes the weather well and is UV resistant. Polyresin can also have numerous types of fillers mixed with it before it hardens to give a wide range of textures and finishes to the final product. Such filler materials are sand, metal filings, marble dust, and gypsum to name just a few. Larger Polyresin products are sometimes laminated (built up with layers) with fiberglass strands and Resin. These layers are built up to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick. The Statue is then left to dry where it can be de-molded and finished. It should be noted that as a general rule Fiberglass Statuary can be left outdoors in year round weather. However Fountains, Birdbaths, Birdfeeders and any Statuary that has a basin that could hold water, should be brought indoors or covered to prevent breakage due to the expansion of water during the freezing process. Statuary that is Polyresin only should be brought indoors as it will not withstand the freeze and thaw cycles. Most all of our Statuary, Wall Sculptures, Fountains, Birdbaths, Birdfeeders and Pedestals are made of Fiberglass. If you are not sure if your statuary is made of Fiberglass please contact us. We will glad to help you.
This is a mineral that is present in many types of rocks. Pure quartz is colorless and transparent. Quartz is found in the three major types of rock. There are two basic types of quartz, macro crystalline with larger crystals and crypto crystalline with smaller crystals. The Crypto crystalline group includes such rocks as flint, jasper, chalcedony and onyx. The macro crystalline group includes such rocks as rose quartz, milky quartz and smoky quartz. The coloring of the quartz is the result of small amounts of minerals that enter the crystal during its formation some of the minerals are aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, etc. The color of quartz may also be caused by the presence of decaying radioactive elements such as uranium or thorium. These radioactive elements alter the crystal structure of the quartz. This alteration causes a change in the way light rays enter the crystal and the color is caused by the bending of the light rays. The radioactive elements that caused the quartz to change have mostly decayed.
Raku is a process of putting glaze on to ceramic. The raku pieces are fired in kilns at about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. When the piece reaches this temperature it is removed from the kiln and is red hot. The piece is then placed in a special metal can, this metal can is lined with special paper or other combustible materials such as saw dust, leaves, straw, wood chips, etc. These combustible materials are covered with metallic substances like iron oxide or copper. As the red hot ceramic piece is place into the metal can it causes the combustible materials to ignite and release their metallic substances. Once the combustible materials ignite the metal can is covered. This depletes the oxygen in the can. The depletion of oxygen causes the raku glaze to react in a unique and unpredictable way. This is why every raku piece is unique and no two are alike. Raku glaze can be made gloss, matte, textured, patterned or any combination of the list. Raku pottery requires special care (see product care). Also it should be noted that due to the unpredictable raku firing process the pieces pictured on this web site should be used for reference of the basic shape and glazes. The amount of any one particular color will vary from piece to piece.
There are three main types of rocks. Igneous rock, formed by great heat like a volcano to a liquid state (molten) then cooled. Sedimentary rock, formed from older rocks, plants and animals. These materials accumulate in layers to form strata as time passes the strata hardens into rock. Metamorphic rock is rock that has changed its mineral composition. These changes are caused by heat (magma) and or by pressure due to deep burial. The change can be crystalline formation, texture change or a color change.
A metamorphic rock composed mostly of talc. Soapstone, however, is used as a general term to describe a variety of different metamorphic rocks such as pyrophyllite, wonderstone, serpentine and many others. Because soapstone is a sedimentary rock that under went a metamorphic change the ratios of the mineral components are not constant. More or less of one component can change the name of the stone. This also allows for a wide range of color variance from black, grey, browns, greens, and whites. The same holds true for marble.
Our Concord Candle line is an excellent choice for all your candle needs. These high quality candles are long burning, fragranced throughout, poured, not dipped or pressed. They are made with food grade paraffin, lead free wicks and under normal conditions are dripless. See product care.
Our wood products come from the highest quality woods. Many of wood domestic types and are good solid woods that have been sealed to give it long life and moisture protection. Others are of the tropical varieties such like Zebrawood, Crocodile wood, Hibiscus wood and many others. With their own unique wood grain patterns. Again all these are sealed to give luster and long life.
Wrought Iron is an alloy of Pig Iron (Iron with most of the impurities removed) and a type of sand called Silicate Slag. Wrought Iron is more malleable than its cousin Cast Iron. Unlike Cast Iron that can not be shaped or formed after it has hardened, Wrought Iron can be reformed after it has hardened. This makes it ideal for decorative fencing, gates and other ornamental art works. Wrought Iron being an alloy makes it resistant to rust and is often left unpainted. For our purposes here Wrought Iron refers to any iron piece that was been cast, hammered, worked or extruded to produce a decorative or ornamental figure out of iron.