Edge Treatments Feature Innovative Designs
By John Filippelli
ALBUQUERQUE, NM Aesthetically stunning, active and natural describe the recent offerings in edge treatments that won top honors in Avonite's Sixth Annual Edge Treatment Contest. Featuring both intricate and playful designs, the edge treatments range in theme from a southwestern mosaic to a merry-go-round palette.
In addition, many of the pieces were created using unique fabricating techniques that allowed the fabricators to create one-of-a-kind designs that incorporated a host of colors, textures and interesting design elements.
First, second and third place winners were awarded cash prizes, and seven more were given "Top Ten Placement" mentions.
The merry-go-round was fabricated like a regular countertop, according to Peppler, and was sandwiched with three half-inch pieces. The horses were thermaformed and curved, and can be seen going in the door of the design and then coming out again.
The flutes were cut with a router bit and the top piece was
sandwiched on after the cut, notes Peppler, whose designs claimed
three of the top four spots in this year's
Peppler notes that he used a Dremmel tool for the carving of the horses, adding to the authenticity. "Ninety percent of our fabricating tools are Porter-Cable," Peppler states.
Peppler also chose to use dark hues of black and purple, giving the edge treatment a majestic feel. While he admits that the piece may not be the most functional, and may present some challenges in terms of cleanability, he believes that the action of the piece is what makes it so appealing.
"The movement of the horses makes it truly unique," he comments, "as well as the carving of the horses."
The major reward Peppler earns from this type of handiwork can be seen in the response from consumers, he believes, noting that, "People [now] come into the showroom and know craftsmen are in the shop."
They combined both Avonite Snowstorm and Midnight Sky Black to create a domino edge treatment that mixes a rigid pattern with a subtle hue.
As Pinske describes, the edge treatment was fabricated by taking a 3-1/2"-thick piece and melding down 1/8" thick in the center for the little squares. Pinske made sure to take the white, so the black square would inlay into the white.
Taking a small router bit, he machined the lines that separate the dominoes, giving the piece "a bit of movement."
To incorporate numbers onto the dominoes, Pinske drilled small holes and filled them with white resin, taking the strip and gluing it to the main countertop.
"On the miter, the domino goes around the corner," Pinske explains. "When we mitered the strip to do it on the counter, it was unique how we got the domino bent around the corner so the pieces all fit perfectly," he adds.
The smooth top of this piece caps off the aesthetically playful design.
He notes that he used thermaform around the dowel pins, and the strips were then heated and made into the shape.
As Peppler notes, "The thermaforming stands out, heated up and bent. That's what makes it unique."
Southwestern style won a "Top Ten Placement" mention for Peppler as well. In this design, each block Peppler used was one inch long one-half by one-half glued together into a mosaic.
Using the little pieces, he created one solid top and a stunningsouthwestern aesthetic.
He also became creative in another sense, spelling "Avonite" across the front of the blocks.
Similar to the merry-go-round, Peppler incorporated "bells and whistles" into this treatment, cementing a string of Christmas lights inside the piece, which were set to continuously blink.
While Peppler enjoys coming up with new and appealing edge treatments, he thinks the real fun is in the idea process. "You just dream up these ideas, something that will appeal to the eye [and then you make it happen]," he concludes.
The kitchen is further animated by a polished stainless steel skylight above the Noguchi breakfast table, which brings in plenty of natural light. The polished concrete floor provides a strong contrast that enhances the look of the entire room.
"This entry was a great example of lighting," emphasizes contest judge Jamie Drake.
"The mystical balance between natural and artificial light makes it enormously appealing."
Similar to the other two winners, Bruder's design kept the kitchen simple, yet, functional. But, Drake, in referring to the third place winner, may have touched on the aspect that made it unique:
"It represents a wonderful mix of materials," Drake said, "the warmth of the wood contrasting against the coolness of concrete. It's adventurous."