The New Art of Stone Mosaic
Artist Type: Artisan
Contact: Clay + Stone Gallery at (505)983-9426
Joshua Kalkstein is an artist based in Santa Fe and Maui who creates stone mosaic murals using stones from around the world.
“Like the walls of Machu Picchu or the Temples at Karnak, a stone mural that I cement to a wall will last for millennia. Yet I see my art as the next chapter in the history of stonework, for never before have possibilities with stone existed as they do today. I have at my fingertips stones that have been quarried from the world over: Peru, China, Turkey, India, Greece, America… Could the great stoneworkers of old ever have imagined we would be cutting through stone with diamonds spinning at 12,000 RPM?”
Joshua uses no dyes or stains in his work; the color variations one sees are all inherent in the stones themselves. He hand cuts the natural stone. It is this human element which can be seen, and felt, in each of the carefully crafted pieces that go into his “puzzles”.
“In my work I attempt to play with both color and texture, highlighting and contrasting the unique characteristics of each stone.”
Joshua began working with stone in Santa Fe during the 90’s, “dry stacking” walls, and setting flagstone patios, stone stairways, benches and the like. During his ten years in Hawaii, he came into contact with all the beautiful and varied stones available from Asia. It was there that he began to create this new art form – bringing together his skills in drawing, his training in architectural drafting and his experience in stonework. These all culminate in what he refers to as “The New Art of Stone Mosaic”.
Joshua’s work adorns fine residential homes and has also been installed in commercial buildings such as hotel lobbies, school buildings, and synagogues. In addition to custom installing his own murals, Joshua also fabricates smaller mosaics that homeowners can easily install themselves.
His work is highlighted at Clay + Stone, a gallery he runs with his wife, Stacey Guinan, ceramic artist. The couple now collaborate - making mosaic of ceramic, stone and glass. The gallery can be found at 821 Canyon Road.