Chicago Skyline Depicted in Stone and Tile - Unveiled at Coverings 2007

Stone Industry News - April, 2007

Chicago Skyline Mural

Chicago Skyline Mural

Careful planning and considera­tion went into the initial sketch of the mural, from the specific details of people standing in front of the buildings to the slightly distorted reflection of the building in the water. A final computer generated image was made from scans of the actual materials used in production.

Creative Edge designs and then fabricates using its high technology, computer controlled waterjet cut­ting process. For the mural, Aalto selected from his firm's standard collection of 75 different marbles and granites in stock from 15 different countries, including Spain, Italy, Portugal, Canada, Brazil, Turkey and the United States. Because the mural was made from such an intricate mixture of marble, granite, porcelain, Italian glass and solid metals, the Chicago skyline mural to be unveiled at Coverings is one of the most complex and involved murals ever created by Creative Edge.

Creative Edge, the world's fore­most waterjet design and fabrica­tion firm, will also be exhibiting at Coverings. Attendees can meet the artist, Harri Aalto, face-to-face at exhibit # 4768.■

Guests at Coverings 2007 will be greeted with a remark­able 15' x 13' waterjet cut mural depicting the vivid details of Chicago's impressive skyline created by Harri Aalto, co-owner and waterjet artist of Creative Edge Mastershop, Inc.

A unique fusion of 25 bold colors and varying textures, this ornate mural was inspired by the dramatic skyline of Chicago and created with precision waterjet technology from stone, ceramic, porcelain and metal products. Thousands of individually handcrafted and cut pieces make up the 1,500 pound structure of waterjet artistry that will hang freely on the walls of the McCormick place without the limi­tations of a structured frame.

"The mural combines a certain amount of realism and imaginative interpretations," said Aalto. "It captures the look and feeling of Chicago, the 'stone' city. People will be able to recognize at least 20 buildings that are made out of granite and marble, just like the original structure of the buildings depicted."

Aalto used actual pieces of gran­ite to portray the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Building, two monumental, jet black buildings in Chicago's skyline. Luxurious Gold

Tiles from Steuler-Fliesen, German manufacturer of high-quality ceramic tile, highlight areas of the mural and brighten the windows of the buildings. Because tight grout joints are essential to capture the minute details of the mural, Aalto used LATICRETE® SpectraLOCK™ Pro grout with the SpectraLOCK Dazzle component to complete the installation, adding a shimmering, metallic component to the mural.

No two pieces of material were cut in .the same way which created fluid lines and depicted movement in the piece. Pairing bright, striking black and gold colors with a spectrum of pastel pieces, Aalto created a stylized interpretation of the architecturally magnificent skyline in dedication to one of his favorite cities.

"We've been thinking of doing the Chicago skyline for many years. Chicago has the most exciting and dramatic skyline of any city in the United States," said Aalto. McCormick place is a prestigious, growing institution and an exciting place to display a piece of our art­work."

Every precision cut piece of material will be transported to the show in 110 pre-assembled, two-foot irregular shapes comprised of 30 to 40 individual pieces. Each set of irregular shapes will be adhered together at the McCormick Place, where it will permanently remain during and after the Coverings show in the major walkway that connects the main garage and the West building. After Coverings, the mural will be donated to the Chicago Tourism Board.