Voted Best of Spokane Since 2009 Voted best of Spokane since 2009


February 23, 2016

The Amy Winehouse project


Spring is almost upon us and we’ve begun designing our exhibit for the various local home improvement shows we’re attending this year.

In addition to the usual color and design samples, we wanted to display something different so our space stands out among the multitudes of businesses vying for the public's attention.

So, how about a semi-photorealistic portrait made of granite?


We did this a few years ago with a picture of the Beatles, but this time we wanted something fresh. So, while studying numerous sketches of iconic faces like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, I kept finding myself drawn to a stunning image of Amy Winehouse that met all the criteria: Instantly recognizable, good shading and able to be cut without compromise.


We settled on Black Galaxy and Bahia Rio granite which offered enough contrast while keeping a similar density for polishing. I learned my lesson on the Beatles portrait which was half granite and half marble, which made it a nightmare to finish as the different stones abraded unevenly. (It still turned out nice, though.)


Starting by cutting the rectangular pieces, we milled the thick slabs down to a half of an inch. The thinner material allows for a more precise cut, and the reduction in weight will be appreciated when we’re lugging this around the city.


The workhorse of this project is the abrasive waterjet. The precisely cut components, some of them quite fragile, were delicately removed from the machine for cleaning and assembly.


After checking the individual parts for proper fit, the gluing phase began, using an industrial strength epoxy to fuse the design together. The final product will be flipped, as the bottom of the cut provides a slightly tighter finished joint between the pieces. This will create a mirror image of the portrait.



Once the epoxy was fully cured, the piece was ground flat, then polished to perfection. The finishing touch was a faux diamond inserted just above her upper lip, lit by a strand of fiber optic lighting. We thought her signature lip piercing should really sparkle.



After Amy’s local "tour" of the home improvement shows, she will join the Beatles and set up residence in our showroom out in Liberty Lake, or perhaps in a customers home, as a framed piece of unique art.


To meet our Amy in person, stop by and support these local events:

Spokane Home & Yard Show, February 25,26,27,28 Spokane Fair & Expo Center

NIBC Home & Garden Show, March 4,5,6 Kootenai County Fairgrounds

Spokane Home & Garden Show, April 1,2,3 Spokane Convention Center


(Amy Winehouse cover photo used by permission /Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr)

Add Pingback

Please add a comment

Posted by Shaun Kelly on
This piece is stunning; quite eloquent and ultimately a true work of pure art. I look forward to viewing many other such projects in the future. Hope all is well. Sincerely, S. Kelly
PS: We're in conferences here so I had the chance to explore some greatness I have missed over the past several years. For your musical relief when you have time, I have provided you with a series of quotes from a rather prolific, intelligent musician whom we always respected and from whom we learned. Who is this person and from which ensemble does he hail? Clues lie therein, cleverly sprinkled amongst the words.

"Usually people think that it is the musicians who create the music, but in fact it is music who creates the musicians."
"In strange and uncertain times such as those we are living in, sometimes a reasonable person might despair. But hope is unreasonable and love is greater even than this. May we trust the inexpressible benevolence of the creative impulse."
"There are no mistakes, save one: the failure to learn from a mistake."
"Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end."
Posted by Joey Marcella on
The very word "discipline" leads me to the one and only Robert Fripp of King Crimson.
I think Mr. Fripp would find it quite odd to be a part of an Amy Winehouse blog. But then again...
Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.