Detailed Tapestry “Rug” in Stone


What does it take to transform an elaborate carpet design into an exquisitely detailed stone rug? The art of tapestry uses tiny tufts of soft fabric structured in a mesh backing. Marble, on the contrary, is extracted from the earth in chunks of solid rock. Only modern waterjet technology, controlled by a computer, could do justice to this detailed design.

Professional interior designer Renee Wong was asked to prepare a custom flooring design suitable for the grand entryway of a private New York residence. She created a rectangular  “rug” design with a more elaborate border than usual. Creating a design like this in marble would require the utmost precision. Wong contacted Tami Sawyer at Creative Edge Master Shop to assist in the waterjet design of her project. Creative Edge is the premier waterjet company in the United States, with a long history of successfully producing detailed, waterjet-cut custom pieces.

Wong’s design had a rectangular center. This was changed to an oval when Aalto Design, a Creative Edge partner, translated the artist’s design into a waterjet-ready design. Harri Aalto had nearly two decades of experience in waterjet design at the time, so he knew the best way to turn a rendering into a design that would bring out the best qualities of the stone. In fact, the waterjet design used the same colors as the original design. Aalto chose select grade Crema Marfil for the “field” (background). He and Tami Sawyer meticulously selected stones, one for each of the colors.

The steps for producing the marble rug were:

  • The customer approved a PDF that showed the color palette , along with the stone sample proposed and waterjet-ready design.
  • Creative Edge’s Programming Department made an AutoCAD version of the design.
  • A computer program was generated for cutting the job.
  • The computer-controlled waterjet machines at Creative Edge cut 25% of the pieces.
  • The pieces were set on Mylar templates and put together like a puzzle. Each piece was numbered for easy placement.
  • Tami examined the partial job to ensure the colors are compatible and the pieces fit correctly. (Pictures can be sent to the client at this time.)
  • The rest of the marble “carpet” was cut and fitted.
  • The pieces were placed face-down, tacked, and flipped over.
  • The pieces were grouted using a waterjet-specific grout. They were assembled in “installer-friendly sections” measuring no more than 2 square feet in area. These smaller pieces would be easy for installers to handle.
  • The sections were dried, cleaned, and inspected.
  • The shipping department placed the pieces on cardboard and shrink-wrapped them, and placed them in specially padded crates.
  • The entire project was shipped with complete installation instructions, including a Mylar map.

Robert Sawyer is the technical advisor at Creative Edge, and he was available to walk the installer through the process and answer all questions.

Designer Renee Wong was delighted with the results. At the time, she was working for Aaron Bornstein and Associates. She has since left Aaron Bornstein’s and owns her own company called Rmwong.

The beauty of a custom marble entryway “rug” is that it is far more durable and easy to clean than a textile rug. With proper care, the flooring will delight generations of homeowners and visitors.