The Boston Blend: Our Signature Stone
Reclaimed brick, reclaimed barn-board, and now, reclaimed stone!
Where does it come from?
Stoneyard.com is not a traditional quarry. Instead we use reclaimed fieldstone from New England farms, generally within 75 miles. This dense quartzitic stone is a conglomeration of glacial rubble that weathered above ground for decades or even centuries. The untrained eye would call our stone "granite," and if you would like the exact specs, see the full ASTM testing.
What makes it special?
Using natural stone is friendly on the environment, both from the embodied energy to produce, as well as for the longevity. It is also matches historic construction. Stone is particularly noticeable in New England because the abundance of fieldstone made farming here more difficult than other regions of the country. Farmers coped by building walls and these landmarks still dot the landscape. Fieldstone was also incorporated to bridges and home foundations.
If I use reclaimed fieldstone am I threatening the New England aesthetic?
No. Fieldstone is a renewable and cherished resource. When landowners dismantle walls the most common reason is property development. In these cases, the movement of the stone is a small portion of the total land use changes. Typically though, fieldstone is recovered by farmers and landowners from piles and natural deposits rather than orderly walls. The stone literally pops out of the ground through the freeze thaw cycle and can be recovered by picking up scattered pieces from fields. Other times underground recovered stone will have spent enough of the time above ground to generate the weathered colors we so much enjoy. Most importantly, because we have a full line of stone, we find an outlet for a very high percentage of the stone we touch. Our processing combined with new ways to construct stone buildings (stone veneer) actually lessens the requirements of raw stone. Often times our processing in the shop mimics what is done in the field, but our more efficient equipment helps a mason spend more time crafting a finished look. Sometimes, non-technical persons are installing their own thin veneer. Fitting pieces together is a lot easier when they are only 1.5 inches thick!
I am extremely picky about colors, is this the right stone product for me?
No. If our stone were a painting it would be from Monet. Get really close and you can see wide variations, and step back and you see a bridge and flowers in the springtime. We are constantly mixing new stone from farmers with our existing stock to create a consistent Signature Blend. While we are aware of other interpretations of "New England Fieldstone," this is our only product line so we can be very picky about where we buy stone from, and we have a finely tuned blend of colors. While this is all good news if you want consistency within the Monet effect, it will rule us out for a project that requires a single color. If there are colors in our stone that you do not like, an easy solution would be to buy extra and discard unwanted pieces. However, we find that this is very rarely chosen because the diversity of mother nature is one of the key reasons to use natural stone in the first place.
Isn't the term New England Fieldstone a little generic?
Surprisingly, we have seen stone called "New England Fieldstone" and it is not actually from New England. Pay attention to who manufactures and processes your stone, because if it doesn't say Stoneyard.com, it may look nothing like our Signature Blend of stone.