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More than a trophy

Ashfield Stone designs ‘design awards’

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brandon Osman of Ashfield Stone in Shelburne Falls assembles polished cut pieces of Ashfield schist that will be handed out as awards for the Boston Society of Architects Hobson Prize. The mobius strip was made by Ned James Metal Working of Ashfield.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Brandon Osman of Ashfield Stone in Shelburne Falls assembles polished cut pieces of Ashfield schist that will be handed out as awards for the Boston Society of Architects Hobson Prize. The mobius strip was made by Ned James Metal Working of Ashfield.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Ashfield Stone co owner Johanna Pratt

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Ashfield Stone co owner Johanna Pratt

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brandon Osman of Ashfield Stone in Shelburne Falls assembles polished cut pieces of Ashfield schist that will be handed out as awards for the Boston Society of Architects Hobson Prize. The mobius strip was made by Ned James Metal Working of Ashfield.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Ashfield Stone co owner Johanna Pratt

SHELBURNE FALLS ­ — When giving out sports trophies, it might be fine to have a gilded ballplayer on a pedestal.

But when you’re handing out design awards to the best architects in the country, you’d want something elegant.

This month, Ashfield Stone has been creating 20 obelisk-shaped stone-and-steel awards for the Boston Society of Architects’ 2012 Design Awards. The Hobson awards “for excellence in design” will be presented to the winners Thursday night, at a sold-out gala event.

Ashfield Stone co-owner Johanna Pratt designed the awards, which she hopes will introduce the beauty of this local stone to a broad range of builders and designers attending the event. A video about the new Shelburne Falls manufacturing center will be shown, and Pratt will be speaking about the 400-million-year-old metamorphic stone from the Ashfield quarry.

These trophies are a departure from Ashfield Stone’s other products — stone walls, countertops, flooring, and outdoor furnishings. However, this is not the first trophy made by Ashfield Stone.

The company has been making stone trophies for winners of the annual Ashfield Film Festival for several years. The “grand prize” trophy, designed by Ashfield Stone’s Brandon Osman, features a whimsical, old-fashioned, two-reel film camera of stone on top. Pratt said she sent a photo of the grand-prize film festival trophy to the BSA, which piqued their interest in schist trophies for their awards.

The polished-black schist statuettes are about 15 inches tall, and each monolithic stone sits above a steel mobius, which is the architects’ society’s logo.

“Everyone in the company — from those who work in the quarry to those who work here had input into the design,” Pratt said. At first, they thought about imprinting the BSA infinity sign logo into the stone, but Pratt thought it made the award look like a memorial. Then Ashfield architectural metal worker Ned James got involved, and created the steel mobius near the base of the awards. To make the color of the steel stand out from the gray-black slate, James heated the steel mobiuses and brushed the hot steel with a brass brush, to impart a gold sheen.

Besides the trophies, Ashfield Stone will be providing table favors — stone “calling cards,” with the BSA logo laser-carved into them.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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