So what does all this mean? There seems to be no exact definition of this product, but a favorite "description" is an image from the past. It is a true story about a DuPont spec rep who had his finger on the pulse of the matter.
"Here's a SHEET of Corian!" said the spec rep, as he removed a perfectly spherical and seamless "sheet" of Corian from his briefcase and rolled it to the architect seated across the table.
THE FUTURE OF SOLID SURFACE
There are only a few major manufacturers actually producing solid surface in the United States, such as LG, DuPont and Avonite, although overall there are now dozens of companies manufacturing solid surface, either regionally or overseas. That said, there are only a handful that typically dominate the North American market. However, the product is really not about mass production if you ask the fabricators.
John Forst of Design Fabrication, in San Marcos, Calif., an industry veteran who started his solid surface life working with a distributor in the early days of the product, shared his thoughts on the future of solid surface. His response was clear.
"The future of solid surface is in the marketing," he offered. "It's about going back to the original message to the consumer; a re-emphasis on what a great product and value solid surface is. It's not about how cheap the product can be made. Rather, it's about the fabricator adding value into the product, about craftsmanship, details and value to the customer."
About the author: Joanna Duggan is a founder
of the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA), the Surface Fabrication & Design
Expo and this magazine. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
phone at 702-525-6486.
Some information in this article was drawn from SolidSurface magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2.
Avonite – The Mouse that Roared
It was 1979 and Ted Stevens had a problem. His company, Counterpart, was making solid surface
jewelry boxes using crushed glass as filler, but was unable to get the polish he wanted.
In his mind's eye he could see a product with deep rich luster and one that could take
a high polish. But… it just wasn't happening. When driving along the Columbia
River in Oregon, an idea hit him. He could cast an ingot of pure resin, crush it, and use
it as a filler.
His chemists called this a "dumb idea."
"If I had had more chemical experience, I might not have tackled something that everyone
said was impossible," said Stevens. But in 1979, there was no denying the excitement
as he watched the first 2 by 3 by 2 in. block of what was then called "Honey Agate" cool
down. "It shined beautifully," he recalled.
Marvin Wernick said of it, "It was fantastic. The 3-dimensional grain and color went all the way through and the deep translucence made the material look like it was a slab of Topaz gemstone."