Maybe You Can’t Get Blood From a Stone, But You Can Certainly Get Art.
By Mark S. Kuhar
Artists have been using stone as a source for their creativity for centuries. Whether it is Stonehenge, the architectural wonders of ancient Greece or Mt. Rushmore, stone is a material that is timeless.
University of Cincinnati industrial design students Hank Beyer and Alex Sizemore have taken that mantra to heart, and created a collection of tables, stools, lamps and trays from discarded stone materials from a quarry in Lorain, Ohio.
Hank and Alex spoke to Rock Products about their work.
Why did you choose stone as your medium?
The project originally started while we were conducting research into various materials sourced in Ohio. This led us to visiting a sandstone quarry in northern Ohio. After becoming familiar with the quarry, its production methods and various machining procedures, our interest shifted toward the excess left over from offcuts.
What qualities does stone have that make it a good choice for these projects?
We were first struck by the appearance of sandstone and eventually learned from workers at the quarry that sandstone can be easily adhered to itself due to its porosity. The low hardness also made it easy to work with without the need for special masonry equipment. Only a drill press and epoxy was needed to assemble all of the pieces in our collection.
Talk about the use of discarded material for design projects.
Within product design, “sustainability” is frequently discussed. These conversations generally center on how easily objects can be recycled or disposed of. We wanted to approach this topic from a different direction and consider how discarded material or byproducts of industrial processes, with little modification, can easily become something new and beautiful.
Do you plan to offer your work for sale up the road?
We hope to soon!
What are your career plans?
We’re currently finishing our final semester of school in Cincinnati, so we aren’t quite sure of our plans yet. Wherever we end up, we hope to keep building and experimenting.