Carve a Niche
Hand-sculpted wall tiles deliver ultimate impact.
Words by Caroline Key
Distinct and timeless, nothing embodies strength and beauty as elegantly as refined stone. An art form with a history as rich and intricate as its delicately hewn surface, friezes have long-captured the attention of the world’s glitterati — perhaps none more so than the enduring work of Michelangelo and other period greats who diligently adorned the homes of the Renaissance elite. Reinventing the form, what was then is now, thanks to California-based master carver and architectural sculptor, Nathan Hunt. Re-mastering the traditions of fifteenth century Florence to create divine inspiration for the modern age, Hunt’s contemporary approach to sculptural tiling offers a bold sense of style to add dramatic flourish to any space.
The excitement surrounding Hunt Studios is true testament to the enigmatic draw of where form meets function. From bespoke carvings to large-scale restoration projects, Hunt and his team have produced exquisite handcrafted installments in stone, bronze and cast materials, but it is the ultra-chic wall art that is really causing a stir. Demure in its passivity, powerful in its minimalist design, Hunt’s decadent oeuvre creates a vision that blends old and new to fine effect. “Architectural ornamentation doesn’t have to be over-elaborate in the traditional sense,” states Hunt. Quite the opposite, the beauty of his masterpieces lies in their simplicity. Playing to the muted palettes of sandstone, marble, limestone and gypsum, the deeply etched patterns transcend the boundaries of conventional décor.
Sourcing locally where possible, Hunt meticulously selects each segment based on purity, lustre and strength. Using an electric chisel to bring his creations to life, Hunt’s tools may differ to those of the Old Masters, but clearly, his attention to detail remains the same. Breathing passion into every piece, each series includes detailed sketches and mock-ups in clay and plaster before the final cut in either cast composite or stone. More than a labour of love, his works deliver the promise of everlasting style.
Favourite motifs include Pulse, a playful movement that exudes warmth; Icarus, a celebration of levity — unseen before in architectural design; and Kris, its serpentine beauty promising to bring focus to any interior. Whether capturing a single dening tile or fulfilling Elysian visions of grandeur by mounting a continuous floor to ceiling relief, these hand-carved wall coverings manage both to tap tradition and bridge the avant-garde. The work of a Modern Master, they are sure to endure.
For more information visit: www.huntstonecarving.com
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