Pedestals offer a lot more in the way of visual creativity than, for example, shelves or cabinets, which include solid walls and sides...
For any interior design, a sense of gravitas should underly every choice, from the material the pieces are made of, to the placement of such pieces. Regardless of the atmosphere you’re aiming for, a sense of dignity is never a bad thought to have in the back of your mind when you are making your choices. A common way of creating this sense of esteem is to physically elevate certain centerpiece items, or to include pillars that lend a sense of height. This is where the concept of a pedestal comes from, and why pedestals are such popular structures that infuse such a sense of weight into their displays.
Pedestals offer a lot more in the way of visual creativity than, for example, shelves or cabinets, which include solid walls and sides that can partially limit the visibility of an item being displayed, or even themselves: indeed, for many styles of stone pedestal, it’s the pedestal itself that’s in the spotlight. Pedestals have a wholly different effect that similar structures like plinths, which are merely platforms that separate the subject from the floor, without any intention of providing elevation, and there is nothing really that compares to the power of a pedestal.
So now that we’ve established the popularity of the stone pedestal, and scratched the surface of some of the reasons that such an ancient and universal design has proven so popular, it comes down to how we can use it ourselves, today: what are stone pedestals most often used for? In today’s world of interior designing, it has been married with an equally hallowed stone sculpture design—the fountain—and become a beautiful style of indoor and outdoor freestanding sinks, with impeccably crafted pedestal basins perched on top of the stone shaft: the “subject” elevated by the pedestal, as we have described.
Modern pedestal sinks may sound like a fairly specific and narrow type of stone pedestal design, but just a precursory look into the world of pedestal sinks shows that, like all corners of the arts, there is always infinite room for growth within even the most rigid of definitions. Everything from the physical appearance of the pedestal sink—is it smooth and glossy, or is it rugged and textured? —to the stone composition of the sink—is it made of marble stone, or perhaps something a little more granny, such as granite? —and even the way the pedestal is set into its location—is it a freestanding sink, or is it anchored into the floor? —is taken into account by the sculptor when deliberating their next momentous piece. The pedestal basin itself and the stone column base it is rested on are all open to a wonderful variety of designs and styles.
In terms of sheer practicality, it is generally agreed that the best material for a modern pedestal sink is actually stainless steel. However, while attractive with its chrome gleam and its futuristic look, steel does not provide a fraction of the versatility or broad visual expression that comes from natural stone. Other common materials such as porcelain or clay have their own shortcomings, such as fragility or vulnerability to wear and decay. In contrast, stones such as soapstone, granite, and marble are pure, strong, immune to the passage of time, and exceptionally beautiful.
Here is a modern pedestal sink made from striking Calcutta marble, where no two points look alike and the column pedestal is alive with texture and the history of the earth. But it’s not just the natural beauty of marble that is elevating the pedestal basin: a mesmerizing layered pattern of craggy ridges wrought directly from the hands of a talented human artist bring a sense of order and style to the beauty of the Calcutta marble. The result is the ideal garden pedestal, suitable no matter how painstakingly designed (or wild and untamed) your landscape is. In this case, the garden pedestal can overshadow the sink up top, since the basin is itself built into the structure as one monolithic column pedestal, but sometimes the situation calls for such overshadowing. It all depends on what you are trying to do.
For a dignified contrast to the Calcutta marble pedestal, consider this handsome freestanding pedestal sink fashioned from black Nero Marquina marble. Even though both pedestal sinks are built from natural marble stone, the differences couldn’t be more apparent: a testament to the sheer versatility of both marble itself and the creative imaginations of the artists who work with it. This black pedestal sink looks more traditional, and would be more at home indoors than outside in your garden, with a slender stone column base that emphasizes the wider basin. In this example, a single striking white color vein crosses the black sink like the trail of a blazing comet, but one of the joys of marble is that you’ll never know quite how the stone will look until it’s out of the ground and in your hands.
Thanks to their popularity, stone pedestal basins and columns are readily available in most retail consumer markets for outdoor décor and stone sculptures. Popular chains such as the Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as online retailers like Amazon, all offer items such as stone pedestals, stone plinths, and sink basins in abundance. However, use caution when shopping in such mainstream spaces: the low prices and convenience often come at the expense of quality, both of craftsmanship (if there is any at all) and of the materials being used. If the expense can be spared, always stick to specialists who take the more difficult path towards exemplary materials and master sculptors. Like us!
Stone pedestals that are made out of genuine natural marble, limestone or granite stone can be considerably heavy. Columns made out of such fine stones can reach weights of several hundred pounds and may require help and equipment to transport. Outdoor garden pedestals are typically not a huge hassle to install: removing them from the truck may be the biggest challenge. Once it is on the ground, a standard hand truck, and perhaps a second pair of helping hands, will be plenty to bring the column to its desired new home. Indoor columns, however, may require professional assistance. Depending on the weight of the pedestal, the floor may need to be braced prior to its placement.
Another huge advantage of natural stone materials is its ease of cleaning. For example, cleaning a stone coffee table couldn’t be simpler: literally just use warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. A preliminary brushing of loose dirt and particulates before the wash is all you need to do. Natural stones like marble and granite are so easy to clean because they are extremely dense and naturally pure, so there are few nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to hide in. The only precautions you would have to take is to be sure the stone is fully dried after cleaning, as we have mentioned. Water is stone’s only true weakness!
There’s only one tried and true way to build a real stone pedestal: elbow grease, artistic talent, and technical skill. Our stone column bases and stone plinths are all carved whole out of pure blocks of marble and granite. It may be the most difficult way to produce such items, but it’s also unbeatably the best. Depending on the design of the column, the pedestal may not include its stone basin sink, which is added separately. In many cases, two separate pieces of stone, especially if they are of different kinds, are attached using heavy-duty construction adhesive. This type of glue is immensely powerful and surprisingly easy to use. In other cases, metal bolts can be used to connect the two pieces, although this usually requires a frame, usually itself made of metal or wood.
Here is an example of a stone basin elevated by a base made of something other than stone: in this case, brass-colored stainless-steel metal. Metal and stone work very well together, and both exemplify strength and style in different but compatible ways. If your stone pedestal has steel or brass elements, try using a white vinegar solution with a microfiber cloth to clean it.
Another example of a combination of stone and metal elements, this stunning modern dining table boasts a pure marble tabletop above a carbon steel base. These types of tables are wonderfully beautiful, easy to clean, and virtually ageless, but beware: they are also extremely heavy and difficult to move. In addition, the marble tabletop is too thin to be truly sturdy, despite its great weight, it will likely crack if dropped while being carried. With these precautions in mind, dining tables with designs are some of the most valuable and popular styles today!
It’s very easy to illustrate the qualities of stone furniture, using any variety of products and designs, with an equally versatile combination of materials. That’s the beauty of sculpture, and of visual art in general: there is no limit to the depth of design and expression. Once the sculptor has decided everything about their immaculate stone pedestal, there is still the question of its accompanying basin. It’s an unlimited world of choices with the majesty of the stone pedestal, both for the artist and the patron. Be sure to consider every detail when making your selection: location, color, lighting, indoor or outdoor placement… everything counts when it’s time to acquire a new piece of art as major and important as this!