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“ArtSky” is lapidary art company, located in the Ural Mountains region of Russia. The major activity is handmade sculpture carving from local stones: anhydrite, calcite, selenite and soapstone.
“ArtSky” is a group of enthusiastic artists who in a joint effort aim to revive and support the traditions of Ural stone carvers.
Anatoly Ovchinnikov, an honored stone carver, one of the most famous animal sculptors of Russia is the chief artist of the company. He has a great experience of organizing serial production of handmade art pieces.
Nowadays, “ArtSky” produces exclusive stone souvenirs, as well as a museum quality sculptures, artists are ready to customize and bring to life any individual project. “ArtSky” artists take part in sculpture shows in Russia as well as in international exhibitions.
The material that comes alive in the hands of masters
Anhydrite is an evaporate mineral that occurs in extensive layered deposits in sedimentary basins where large volumes of seawater have been evaporated. Anhydrite also occurs as a vein-filling mineral in hydrothermal deposits. It is deposited from solution, often along with calcite.
It has a defining Mohs hardness of 3 to 3.5. It is closely related to gypsum.
Anhydrite receives its name from the Greek “anhydrous” which means “without water”. It easily converts to gypsum under humid conditions or in contact with subterranean waters.
Anhydrite can be used as a soil treatment when crushed.
Small amounts of anhydrite are used as drying agents in plaster, paint and varnish. It is also used along with gypsum to produce plaster, joint compound, wallboard and other products for the construction industry.
Selenite is a crystallized form of gypsum most commonly found in layered sedimentary deposits.
It has a defined Mohs hardness of 2.
The name Selenite comes from the Greek word for moon and means “moon glow.” Selenite is most often transparent and colorless. If selenite crystals show translucency, opacity and color, it is caused by the presence of other minerals.
Like all types of gypsum, selenite has natural thermal insulating properties, which makes selenite feel warm to the touch.
Selenite is a very soft mineral. It is a popular decorative and ornamental stone. Besides, it is widely used in crystal healing.
Soapstone (talkohlorite) is a metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc and other minerals. Soapstone most often forms at convergent flagstone boundaries where broad areas of Earth’s crust are subjected to heat and directed pressure.
It has a defining Mohs hardness of 1 to 5.5. There is no fixed hardness for talkohlorite because the amount of talc it contains varies widely.
There is another name for the stone in Russian. The name “soapstone” has derived from its “soapy” feel and softness. Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green, brown in color, or black.
Soapstone has been used for centuries as a medium for carving from sculptures to kitchenware, smoking pipes , etc.
It is nonporous, nonabsorbent, heat resistant, resistant to acids and alkalis; it has low electrical conductivity and high specific heat capacity.
The special properties of soapstone make it suitable for a wide variety of uses: from countertops in kitchens and laboratories to wall tiles and floor tiles, but it also looks perfect in ornamental carvings and sculptures.
The famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue that overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is made of reinforced concrete and faced with soapstone.
Calcite is a carbonate and a rock-forming mineral. It is extremely common and found throughout the world. Calcite is a common constituent of sedimentary rocks, limestone in particular, much of which is formed from the shells of dead marine organisms. It also occurs as a vein mineral in deposits from hot springs, and it occurs in caverns as stalactites and stalagmites.
It has a defined Mohs hardness of 3.
Color is white or none, though shades of gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, or even black can occur when the mineral is charged with impurities.
The properties of calcite make it one of the most widely used minerals. It is used as a construction material, abrasive, agricultural soil treatment, construction aggregate, pigment, pharmaceutical and more.
Mosaic – a technology of creation of artworks from stone plates with polished surface, of a different texture of rocks and natural color variations. Stones are glued together in a specific order, thus creating mouthwatering effect of the play of colors and shades, sometimes offering a new vision of the image. The technique of assembling the mosaic squares attracts with it’s bright colors, and rainbow iridescent of the pieces. Thus, passing the perfection of the stone processing in the best way possible.
In the Florentine mosaic technique professional stonecutters create the whole picture. Thin plates of stone of different types transfer bright, rich colors: white, bluish, gray, yellow anhydrite, brown calcite, and some dark shades are brought into the picture with plates of talkokhlorit. Stone elements of different shapes are gathered densely to each other, so that there are no visible lines of joints or seams at all. Plates are assembled in one plane.
The Florentine mosaic technique is the most time and work consuming as well as the most difficult of all. Even using the modern technologies of stone processing the creation of one Florentine type mosaic can take more then few months. The perfect selection of stones of different colors, shades, geometrical forms and patterns requires thoroughness and knowledge of properties and abilities of these or those types of stones.
The special feature of the Florentine mosaics is their absolute uniqueness. Each picture is unique as is the pattern of each stone, and even when carefully copied the final mosaic is not similar to the original. Most over the mosaic doesn’t grow dull or fade over time.