Alabaster continues to be an important material for home decor product development. One reason is that it is such a beautiful natural material.
Alabaster is known as medium-hard gypsum or calcite mineral that is usually white and translucent and has a fine uniformed grain. When Alabaster is put up to the light you can see the small fine natural grain of the stone. As Alabaster is a porous mineral it can be dyed in a variety of colors.
Alabaster is a material that has been used in the decorative arts for centuries. Alabaster decorative objects have been found in ancient areas of the world including Egypt and Italy. Alabaster is an example of a natural material that is still as popular today as it was thousands of years ago.
What is Alabaster?
Alabaster is a fine-grained gypsum or calcite mineral that is normally snow-white and translucent. Some alabaster may have brown or yellow tones. Alabaster can be artificially dyed or can also be opaque. But most people prefer alabaster for its snow-white or translucent nature.
Many times Alabaster is confused with marble as his appearance can look quite similar to some marbles, but alabaster and marble are not the same materials and are very different.
Here are some characteristics of Alabaster:
- Mineral rock – Alabaster is a mineral rock.
- Medium Hard Stone – Alabaster is not as soft as a stone such as soapstone, but it is considered a medium hard stone. It is not as hard as marble. This is why some people when they are starting to learn to carve stone objects may start with carving in alabaster.
- Two Kinds of Stones – Most people agree there are two kinds of alabaster. One is called gypsum and the other is calcite. Both stones look very similar.
- Indoor Use – As Alabaster is a softer stone, it is not suitable for statues or other things that are used outdoors. In other words, alabaster should only be only used indoors.
- Powdered – Sometimes it is ground into a powder.
- Light Colored – Alabaster is generally a lighter colored stone. The pure white color is one of the greatest features of alabaster.
- Translucent – Alabaster has a translucent nature. This is why you can put a light behind a thin sheet of alabaster and the light will shine through. In fact, lampshades are made out of alabaster. Alabaster is also cut into thin sheets and used as small window panes.
- Fine Uniformed Grain – Alabaster has a fine uniform grain. Sometimes you can see some brown clouding or veining in the stone. This is part of the natural beauty of the stone itself.
- Dyed – Alabaster is a porous stone that can be dyed in any color or shade. The dying of alabaster is a technique that has been used for centuries. The Alabaster stone needs to be immersed in a pigment or dye solution and then heated to a specific temperature. That is why you may see alabaster in other colors besides just the pure white. One popular color to dye Alabaster is a coral color that is also known as alabaster coral.
- Hand made or Machine made – Today there are two basic kinds of alabaster. One is handmade alabaster and the other is machine-made alabaster.
Is Alabaster Expensive?
To really understand if alabaster is expensive, you need to understand what you are comparing it against. For example, if you are comparing natural Alabaster to a similar look in resin, then yes alabaster is definitely more expensive than resin. It will be much more expensive for the same look as a resin looking alabasters in the same shape and size.
The cost of the Alabaster will also depend upon what kind of alabaster you are using. The quality of the alabaster, and if the alabaster is handmade or machine-made will make a difference to the overall price. Handmade alabaster is more expensive than machine-made alabaster.
If you’re looking for a pure white translucent alabaster, that has beautiful natural vein lines, then you will need to use the handmade alabaster. Generally speaking, the machine-made alabaster is yellow to butterscotch color with some white. But as technology improves, so does the way the man-made alabaster is being made.
Is Alabaster Rare?
The regular white alabaster is not rare. White alabaster is found in many countries around the world such as England, Belgium, China, India, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, and the United States.
Black alabaster is considered to be the rarest of all alabasters. The black alabaster is an anhydrite form of a gypsum mineral. This black alabaster is found in only three places in the world – the United States, Italy, and China.
Using Alabaster in Home Decor Products
Alabaster has long been a popular stone to be used in home decor products. One of the reasons is due to the translucent nature of the stone. Since it is a medium-soft translucent stone it can be carved or used in a host of ways.
Here are some of the more popular ways that alabaster is used:
- Lighting – The translucent nature of alabaster makes it an ideal material to be used in lighting or as a shade. Light will shine through it.
- Lamps – Many times alabaster is used for table or floor lamps for either the base or part of the base. It is a nice material to mix with brass.
- Furniture – Alabaster has also been used for furniture production. Sometimes lights are placed inside the furniture so that the beauty of the alabaster can be seen.
- Bathroom accessories – Another great way to use alabaster is with bathroom accessories. The material is naturally waterproof so it a great material to use in a wet location like a bathroom.
Alabaster is a wonderful natural material to use for your product development of home decor products and furniture. We love the beautiful whiteness and translucent look of Alabaster. If you’re looking for a high-end material to use for your home decor and home furniture needs alabaster should be on the top of your list.
If you are interested in finding out more about manufacturing alabaster home decor or home furniture products, we would love to hear from you. Mondoro has many alabaster products. To discover out more, please contact Anita by clicking here.
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