Marvelous Medallions

Fabulous Floors - Fall, 2006

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The Monte Carlo Dark - The Continental Collection

The Monte Carlo Dark - The Continental Collection

The Indus - The Continental Collection

The Indus - The Continental Collection

The Sicilian - The Continental Collection

The Sicilian - The Continental Collection

Even after 50 years, space-age technology continues to amaze Americans in wonderful ways, none more beautifully, though, than the ability to create medallions like these for floors and walls. Previously the province of European crafters, these medallions and others from an American company can be yours at prices far below those of the Grand Masters.

Iowa is the home of Creative Edge Master Shop. Under the watchful eye of artist Harri Aalto, space-age water-jet cutting technology creates exacting piecework and details needed for these sculptures, which find their way to some of the world's finest homes. (See a larger, more complex example in a North Carolina home.)

The water-jet cutting technique does unique things with virtually any floor covering. A combination of water and tiny garnet particles fired at twice the speed of sound cut away material so precisely that stone, glass, metal, wood, resilient, laminate — any material — can be made into pieces as fine as filigree. From these come works of art comprised of thousands of pieces, even in onyx, marble and semiprecious stones.

While large, custom designs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, medallions like these are surprisingly affordable. Some are regular "running line" designs. Depending on the material - including resilient, ceramic, porcelain, terrazzo and architectural metals — costs start at less than $1,000. Standard designs can be customized, or you can order a one-of-a-kind original, perhaps to include the family coat of arms.

Medallions (plus borders and murals) are cut and fit at the factory, then pre-assembled or partially pre-assembled by hand to be installed by any installer with standard skills. Prices for these designs you see from the Creative Edge Master Shop Continental Collection range from three feet at $1,800 to 10 feet at $8,500.

For more information visit the Creative Edge medallion collection.