This 5′ x 9′ custom stone art signage is for the Louisiana Department of Transportation, the art work was designed for a mix-master highway interchange in Shreveport, on Highway I-49.
A funny story to tell: Our stone has quartz in it that refracts light, and for years prior to digital photography, the light coming off the stone would burn the film. In bright sunlight the details washed out lit very carefully. I saw the need to not have flat surfaces that were relieved one half of an inch stepping up and down to make the art work a relief. So I contacted the general contractor PCL Civil Constructors asking for a meeting to discuss my artistic liberty. Little did I know what I had asked for?
Some time later a call was arranged upon my behalf to discuss my inputs as an artist. I never got an exact account on how many people were on the conference call, but there seemed to be several people on the other end of the line.
As one might expect they were concerned at what this modification was going to cost? I explained that I believed I could do it in the same budget though it did increase the difficulty. Now after that statement, I had a following that was growing, and though there was a cost to bear, it would not be passed along to them, since I felt it was in the best interest of the State of Louisiana to have our best effort. I further described, as I did above, the inherent nature of stone’s ability to refract light and how to use it to our advantage. They accepted the idea in premise, or the main speaker did, and I started to move on to the next step of approving the art work.
Not so fast, one voice said, and then another chimed in and another soon I was starting to figure out just how many people were on the call, and it was getting out of hand quickly, These people were certainly passionate about the art for their project. So, just before things went critical I said with a loud voice “HOLD IT”
As the airways fell silent, in a voice of assurance that was as bold as I could speak and still sound calm I said, “At the risk of sounding like Donald J Trump …. Trust me, your going to love it.”
That’s when I know there were even more on the conference call that I could have imagined as laughter broke out like a stadium. I was allowed my artistic liberty. Here is one of the four designs that got approved with no changes. More to come…
A recent project had a lovely and detailed sign made from the company symbol of two deer and a tree. We received the plans in mid 2015 for Homeland Bank in Monroe, Louisiana.
The sign really captured the almost photo like quality of the original image, a moment captured as the two deer paused under a tree in a field. The texture of the grass and tree appears quite realistic, and the deer have more relief from the flat cast stone of the sky background to make them stand out.
This shows the pieces that went into the complete cast stone entry with the sign. The cross section shows the stacks of flat profiles that create the Greek Revival style pediment and stone columns. There is another touch of cast stone art in the top of the columns as well as another sign with cast in lettering, note the sharpness of the decorative serifs on the lettering.
Cast Stone Sign, Cast stone entry, stone columns, greek revival
Cast Stone Lions –
Lions by Stone Legends greet me with a peace
only strength could offer.
A classic style, and one of our popular pieces of cast stone art. This prone lion looks as natural and as detailed as the real thing, all it’s missing is the roar.
Even an understated entrance can make a statement.
We produced stone for the Life Sciences Building on the University of North Texas Denton campus. We built the main entry for the building, including the curved sign above the door, and a sculpted sign for the plaza at the corner.
The entry has several parts to it, The curved banding that caps the brick columns, a surround for the door and window above, and the lettering that runs along many panels as well as a wide radius curve.
This is the sculpted sign they put in the plaza between several buildings
Here is a young couple taking photos, with our sign as the background
Closeups of the details.
And a high resolution shot of the sign
Cast stone signage, University of North Texas life science building
You never know, I guess little boys reside in us forever.
As an adult I might not so willingly admit how many episodes, much less reruns of the TV program Hercules I’ve seen. You never in a million years think you will meet him in person much less spend the day with him playing golf. Recently, at a celebrity charity sponsored by Bob’s Steak and Chop House I did just that. Much to my surprise he was the same pleasant spirit, with the same gentleness only real inner strength portrays, and with all that he had the humility he portrayed as my hero Hercules.
Well maybe the humility waned a little on hole number two when Kevin knocked a 250 yard # 3 wood stiff, leaving less than a 10 foot putt, He had the honor of sinking for the second eagle of the day.
For many, Kevin Sorbo’s run on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys And Xena is untouchable, and made him a household name to fans both young and old. He also starred in the adventure movie “Kull the Conqueror”, a story from the author and world of “Conan the Barbarian”. Sorbo’s next major role on the sci-fi series Andromeda made him one of the few nerd icons capable of leaping from swords to spaceships, but the son of Zeus he will forever be. He even reprised the Hercules role in the video game, God of War III – not quite the same character.
In life we suffer many disappointments especially when we elevate people in status and admiration. You know it is nice when your boyhood hero really does turn out to be a hero. He was our team’s hero on the second hole, but it was his role in the low budget film “God Is Dead” that had won me over. His wife and he were on a talk show promoting the movie when I first realized he was a real life hero, the kind of hero that faces such things as a brain aneurysm. To me it was the same as looking death in the eye and smiling only to go on to do even greater things.
I can honestly say if ever there was a fan club I wanted to join it would be Kevin’s. God bless him and thank you for the time, past, present, and by grace the future.
This is a project we producted stone for many years ago, but we just received some photos we wanted to share with everyone.
This home is 100% stone, top to bottom. It has a paneling pattern often used in Italianate and other architectural styles architecture. It creates an impression of horizontal bands and surrounds on the windows and doors.
This pool are shows the paneling pattern up close.
The pattern continues in this veranda area.
A view of the ocean out the window. No actual stone in the shot, just a lovely interior.
Cast Stone Architecture
Horizontal banding is a common decorative architectural feature. It goes at the top of a wall, at the bottom, or somewhere in between.
At the bottom it is called watertable (originally it was for deflecting rain away from the foundation. The top of the watertable projected a few inches away from the building materials below.
Midline banding is located in the middle of a wall. It may run at any height, but is often aligned with the top or bottom of a set of windows or the front entry, or a visual upper level floorline.
At the top it can be called cornice, which is banding directly beneath the roofline, or entablature, which runs between a set of columns and a roof, pediment or balcony. Entablature commonly has a support beam (architrave) that rests on the top of the columns, a frieze, a wide band that may or may not have ornamental art panels, and the upper cornice just below the roofline.
Two examples of Entablature, banding running above a set of columns and below a triangular pediment on the first and below a small balcony on the second.
This example shows a double banding course running under the roofline.
This example shows a cornice with decorative brackets. This is a very common feature in certain architectural styles, and we produce several designs of corbels and brackets for this purpose. We also make profiles that have this visual appearance in one piece. This style of profile is called Dentil.
This example has a band running across the top edge of the portico, a different cornice at the roofline of the main building (interrupted by a dormer window), and a sloped cap along the edge of the lower roof / balcony.
Cast Stone banding, cornice and entablature
Midline banding is generally, any band that isn’t at the bottom or the top. The styles and profiles usable for midline are nearly infinite, the options are less constrained that Cornice or Watertable. The band will usually run aligned with the top of a window surround or entry, or the visual position of a second level floorline, but can go about anywhere.
Many banding applications are rather wide, sometimes more than a foot across. Using multiple profiles makes the individual pieces lighter and easier to install. Several profiles are often stacked together as a single course, (a set of profiles installed together as a single band)
See the attachment hardware and the airspace between in this drawing of a profile family on a brick wall.
This profile family cross-section shows two profiles forming a single wide band. The setting line makes them form a continuous shape that rises from the top and fades back into the brick at the bottom.
These two examples show a midline running at the middle of the wall, at the floorline of the second floor. The lower image shows a narrow profile band running into a wider band, made of two identical profiles, with one reversed and a flat panel between them.
This home uses two midline banding courses, (the lower could be defined as a watertable) . This home also shows one other style of banding. While it is seldom called banding, Quoins can be considered a VERTICAL banding. This home uses fluted square columns as quoins, see the first midline example photo to see a more typical set of quoins running up a corner.
Cast stone Midline Banding
Many banding applications are wide, sometimes more than a foot across. Using multiple profiles makes the individual pieces lighter and easier to install. Several profiles are often stacked together as a single course, (a set of profiles installed together as a single band) Two identical profiles are often used that way, one reversed.
The watertable uses two profiles, and serves as a window sill when under a window.
A close up of a similar watertable.
Here the profile forms the top of the watertable with the stucco below. The profile runs under the window sill here. This corner uses a outside cope to eliminate the need for fragile miter cuts. The photo above uses an inside cope for each profile.
This watertable has a cast stone band running across the top, with stone blocks below.
These are preselected families of profiles we often produce for watertables, there are many other options. The same profiles can even be used in other configurations, varying the setting line, and the materials surrounding the stone.
Watertable Architectural Banding