The Method

There are other similar shaped stools and tables on the market but they are primarily made of a lightweight mortar mix, GFRC  (glass fiber reinforced concrete), or even plastic. Kruk Stones are composed from a variety of cement and aggregate products used in the pool construction industry. These materials are chosen for two reasons. The higher cement content adds strength, and can also create shrinkage cracks which add to the desired distressed appearance of the Kruk. Also, most cement materials are repurposed leftovers from finished pool jobs that would otherwise be thrown away. A custom one piece mold is used to pour the material into because this eliminates seams in the product that clam shell molds can create. The exposed top of the pour is troweled flat until it gets hard in a few hours. At times, stones are glued onto the sides of the mold to imbed them into the Kruk. The next day, the piece is removed from the mold and it cures outdoors allowing the Florida sun and rain to “weather” it. Next is the hard part. Before the real magic of actually finishing the stone can occur, a repeated series of grinding and hand sanding must take place to prepare it. On average, each stone takes approximately 12 hours to make. If it doesn’t look exceptional, it is then re-sanded and re-stained until it does. Most of the stones are re-done giving color variation and layers in the appearance. Some of the Kruks intended for use outdoors were sealed. Sealers are not used on the interior tables. First, a non-glossy or matte appearance is more natural. Second, the sealers generally create an undesirable “plasticky” feel to the touch. Most Kruks are sanded so smooth that they do become shinier. The texture and form of the finished Kruk is sensual. It is very pleasing to look at and to touch especially.

“The shape of a Kruk Stone is a powerful one with much thought put into it. Much like that of a keystone in architecture, its purpose has depth. Structurally, a keystone is the wedge-shaped stone at the apex of a masonry vault or arch, which is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. Figuratively, the term is used to refer to the central supporting element of a larger structure, such as theory or an organization, without which the whole structure would collapse. It is also easy to see how, on a deep psychological level, arches can signify a period of transition. Transitions signify change and the arch represents the passageways of that process. Again, the keystone is vital. So, when you get the chance, look around and rediscover the shapes of things, appreciate their purposes, and how they fit into your landscape.”