Zoom in and the trays reveal crystals featured in Mineral Bliss's second post ever from Feb. 15, 2009, about collecting quartz crystals at the Ron Coleman Mine in Jessieville, Arkansas. Accompanying the crystals are various other rocks, pebbles, and crystals that I, and occasionally my wife Nina, have brought home in recent years. Bringing too much stuff like this into the house and having it usurp space where it's unappreciated is a collector's curse.
Look closely and observe that regardless of colour, every piece bears a dark spot. That's glue resembling tar with which the display! sides of the stones have been attached to the bottom of the tray. The next step will cover them with cast concrete that wont stick to the trays with any more strength than the black glue. When the cast concrete settles and dries, the trays are overturned, their content emptied. The stones imbedded in cast concrete at the bottom of the tray now become the surface of the countertops for our newly remodeled kitchen.
Within the context of Nina's and my standard of living and especially considering the awful present economy, this project is high-end out of all proportion. That's probably because it is one of the few ideas for a "major undertaking" that we both embraced from the git-go with equal levels of enthusiasm.
Though Nina and I credit ourselves with the vision for this countertop, we've entrusted the end-product's creation to Lukeworks, a Baltimore-based design-build manufacturer of products for contemporary spaces. It is a shop where the craftspeople and even the workmen hold arts and artisan degrees that relate directly to what they assemble and create.
Neither Nina nor I---nor for that matter anyone at Lukeworks---has ever seen a countertop quite like we anticipate will be dominating our kitchen in just a couple of weeks. We've seen cast concrete countertops with other kinds of items imbedded, but never crystals or rocks. Expecting soon to have the penultimate mineralogist's kitchen countertop, we'll post pictures when it's installed.