Stone

stone 2-1

I am always a bit envious of people whose kitchens are gloriously covered in granite or marble. My poor little kitchen’s counter tops are simple white veneer that is starting to peel up in spots. Not exactly photogenic. Luckily, I have two new butcher block topped islands that we were able to pick up at IKEA for a very decent price. And today, I made another fantastic discovery.

I’ve been meaning to head down to a stone shop to see what they had in the way of slate or tile to use as a backdrop for a while now. I had seen a slate cheese board in Beechers the other day which was gorgeous, but was also about $75… more than I wanted to spend. I thought perhaps a supplier might have some fragments for a bit less. So after a bit of searching, I decided to head down to Michelangelo Marble that is deep south Seattle, almost into Boeing Field. I love heavy industrial areas like this. Places where the business specifically have to put “open to the public” on their store fronts. I wandered into the show room and was stunned at the sheer amount of gorgeous marbles and other stonework. After a while of wandering around by myself, I headed up to ask if they had any scraps. Yes, I learned, they did… but it meant driving over to their stone yard which luckily was only a few blocks away. It was drizzling fairly heavily, but I decided to give it a shot.

As we entered the yard, I was shown their “remnants” which were about the size of my kitchen. These pieces would run about $30 to $70… not bad for about 15 square feet of marble. However, not really what I was looking for. I needed something that I could actually lift. I asked if they had smaller pieces. I really wanted something about the size of a tile and as we wandered, I saw a large fragment (about two feet by three feet) of gorgeous green marble laying discard on the ground. I pointed to the piece, and asked how much. Much to my surprise, he said “Oh, that? You want that? You can just take it.” Jackpot! I wandered around a bit more and found 6 more pieces of various stone with gorgeous textures, colors and wonderfully rough edges.

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Thinking that I was perhaps over-taxing his generosity, I sheepishly asked if I could have those pieces as well. No problem! He even carried them all out to my car. At that point, I really wanted to look around to see what else I could find, but we were getting pretty wet and I decided it could wait for another day.

Anyway, there is a moral to this story. There are plenty of places to find great props for food photography for very little money, if not free. (and if you are looking for stone top counters in the Seattle area, definitely do yourself a favor and head down to Michelangelos!)

*One note on stone: Not all stone is food safe, so if you are using scraps and remnants, it’s best not to eat the food placed directly on the stone or make sure that you properly seal it.

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  • http://www.nordljus.co.uk/en keiko

    Hi L – this is such a lovely piece of stone and your photos are wonderful! I’d like to have a very thick lime stone as a worktop in my kitchen one day… I enjoy both of your blogs, they are so beautiful and inspiring, I can’t choose which I like better :)

  • http://www.drinkjack.com DrinkJack

    I like how you barter! Talk about a find and a half. Hummmm, I wonder if there are as generous companies around here. I could see a patch work counter top in my future.

  • http://stilllifewith.com L

    Keiko – thank you so much! Coming from you with all of your breathtaking food photos, I am tickled pink. I can’t imagine that this blog teach you anything you don’t already know, as your photos are so perfect now, but I’d love to get your feedback!

    Jack – I have to say, I was very surprised to get it all for free… but I bet even companies that won’t just give the scraps away will offer the smaller pieces at very reasonable prices. It’s definitely worth checking out!

  • http://www.tile-stones.com/MarbleTile Marble Tile

    Those stones obviously can still be used, I don’t know how you were able to get them free. That was really impressive. Like you, I also picture my dream kitchen with a luxurious look, for me every surface should be made of the finest marbles and stones.