CHUNKS OF the planet's oldest rock are given contemporary incarnations when stoneArt Designs transforms 5-million-year-old granite into strikingly unusual furniture. The company's four-piece desk, for example, would complement any office interior that draws heavily on natural materials. The lean, angular design communicates a no-nonsense message about the person who sits behind it.
The gray model (pictured, about $9,000) is just one of the color options; each desk claims the individual signature of its earthly component with a variety of colors (grays, brown, black, red or pink), veining and mineral intrusion, limited only by nature's imagination. It's composed of a writing surface resting atop two bases--one triangular, the other L-shaped--and comes with a separate mobile workstation that fits beneath it (the piece also can stand alone as a computer table or shelving unit).
The desk is not the only stoneArt design; the firm produces unusual granite furniture for many purposes. All pieces are polished to a maintenance-free finish, and granite, the hardest of the igneous rocks, never fades or discolors and seldom suffers chips or scratches. Like sculpture, each desk is cut from a solid piece of stone. Because each piece is as individual as a thumbprint, the furniture is signed, dated and numbered by the worker who crafted it by hand in Melbourne, Australia.