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You deserve a break whenever you specify ceramic or stone products for your special project

Have you ever wondered what the Romans, let’s say, experienced when they ordered stone or tile for their villa or a forum building? Considering the times and lack of technology, it must have been a very frustrating experience. Slow production, limited choices of product and design and lengthy shipping schedules were the order of the day. We’ve been told that things aren’t much different now and actually can be more complicated. So when we were planning Sharp Creative, we knew that we had to go deep and offer exceptional selection, superior quality and great customer service for our ceramic and stone program. After thirty five years as a commercial contractor, I wanted to soften some of the speed bumps that I’ve seen regularly on many projects not only for my own peace of mind and sanity but for the benefit of our clients. We asked and, anecdotally, some of our clients were willing to share some of the frustrations they experienced in the process. For example:

  • Production times that are excessive or poorly defined

  • A limited product selection

  • Limited choice of sizes

  • Limited sample selection

  • Poor information about proper setting materials and grout systems

  • Low or no inventory of trim pieces

  • Weak customer service from production to shipment

  • Complicated paperwork for shipping and customs

  • No definition for waste or overage requirements for individual projects

  • Poor communication skills

When choosing product lines for Sharp, we posed this question to our potential suppliers concerning these issues. Hopefully by vetting their capabilities against this list and using it as part of our benchmark for selection; we could either include or eliminate them from the process. This could actually make the ceramic and stone selection effort for an individual project if not enjoyable then certainly easier.

We finally settled on Galleria Stone & Tile as our day to day out-resource for many reasons but primarily because we found that the logistics team we work with at Galleria actually does make the process enjoyable! This human element, along with their added services such as water jet cutting, full fabrication capabilities for all types of stone, and thousands of product selections to choose from, all but eliminated the list of concerns we had.

Another challenge we faced was how do we share all of this wonderful product in our modest two thousand square foot showroom? Galleria has over 200,000 square feet for their operation! The solution was simple. We decided on showing products that are always in stock in New England. This reduced the sample selection down to a modest amount but still offered many styles to choose from. What isn’t on display in our Boston showroom can be had in as little as a day from Galleria’s headquarters. They have been with us since the early days of opening Sharp Creative and I can truly say the above list of client concerns has faded away.

Some of the product lines we offer are quite unique. For example, we have the Quemere hand painted tiles (shown above), originally from Brittany in France, now made in New York. You can create a truly one of a kind custom design with this resource for walls; shape, colors and finishes are unlimited. Also there is the Lastra Sottile thin porcelain slab collection offering seamless slab configuration for walls and counters in the latest high resolution technology printed patterns available. Some of the more remarkable trending styles we offer include Brick Art inspired by the SoHo loft designs of times past, Cadence molten glass mosaics, Denim porcelain planks inspired by textile designs, and Aspire, a truly Maine coast inspired porcelain plank collection which has award winning potential.

Our goal at Sharp Creative is to bring you resources and products that find inspiration from your design and talent rather than offer a product that will simply “just fit” into your idea. Take ceramics for example. What better way to bring natural material into a project that utilizes earth, water, air and fire? By sharing your inspiration and thoughts in the early stages of your project, we are more than capable of supporting your efforts to a successful conclusion. By including Sharp Creative in your process of selecting stone or ceramic, you will have the experience of Russell Sharp who will bring all the resources including over 300 stone or slab selections and thousands of ceramic selections to your table without the usual concerns.

Word of the Week Pug Mill

A pug mill or pugmill is a machine that can mix raw clay with other materials to form a workable “plastic” clay body that can then be used to form tiles or other ceramic products. It usually has a large boxlike chamber with a double set of mixing paddle that will thoroughly homogenize the clay body. If the clay will go directly to production, then the clay can be de-aired as well. Some say it resembles a very large meat grinder - never-the-less, it is an important tool for the ceramics industry.

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