About Us

COMPANY HISTORY

Slate Works, offering handmade slate home & garden décor accessories, was brought to life in January 1997. Marie Hermanson brings her inspirations alive out of a home-based studio in Calgary, Alberta. Slate Works is now in its 17th year of business.  What initially began as a part-time business to complement work renovating and restoring old character homes, Slate Works is now a full-time affair for this artisan. Working with slate as a medium has allowed Marie to express her passion for nature, detail, & architecture.

ARTISAN

After University Marie decided to move to Japan to study a different culture and form of architect. Upon returning home she turned to slate and discovered many wonderful and unique creations she could design and craft.  Pulling from her two year experience in Japan, Marie derives inspiration from her pursuit for perfection, and has transferred all her knowledge into her slate creations.  Marie has a strong architectural sense and enjoys the look and feel of simple lines, as is evident in the slate gift-ware she designs.  This combined background, has made Marie an expert slate artisan…brimming with new ideas and designs that are well received every season. 

Marie also brings business experience to Slate Works, having completed her Bachelor of Management. Along with this comes her passion for natural materials and attention to detail.  Marie keeps close track of trends in color, style, and design and has always incorporated great style into all of her products and booth designs.  She is always - developing new ideas, dreaming up new products, designing products, producing works, researching materials, contacting customers, and completing all the needed administration (somebody has to do it!).  Slate Works sometimes has an “artisan-in-training” working in the studio, as high school students and other creative spirits spend time in the studio, learning how to work with stone & tools, and getting an introduction in running a home-based business.

CREATIVE PROCESS

Using a variety of stone & tile saws, sanding tools (and lots of miscellaneous tools!), waterproofing & finishing techniques, Marie creates high quality stone home & garden décor accessories with slate from Canada, USA, Spain, India, China, & Brazil.  Slate is 500 million years old and found in countries around the world.  In the studio, the slate is cut into the various shapes and sizes of a vase, a fountain, etc, and carefully glued, sanded, & finished.  The process is slow as each stage must be fully complete & dry before moving on to the next stage.  Most works of art are made over a period of two to five days. 

SALES & MARKETING HISTORY

Slate Works began selling it’s products at the Alberta Gift show in 1997, and at the Toronto Gift Show in 1998, then in 2001 moved on to the CGTA show. After almost three years in the wholesale market, a decision was made to get closer to customers by selling at retail shows as well as at wholesale shows.  In 1999, Slate Works exhibited at the Art Market Christmas Show in Calgary, added the Butterdome Show in Edmonton in 2000, and added The Festival of Crafts in Calgary and the Circle Craft Show in Vancouver in 2002, and the One of a Kind Show in 2003. To try something new in 2005 they took their products to the Invemere Farmers Market for the summer season, and experienced great success. Slate Works continues to attend all of these unique shows yearly offering customers high quality giftware that they come to seek out time and time again. Due to overwhelming requests in 2012 Slate Works is proud to announce the addition of their on-line store front as another popular venue to reach its customers.

Marie truly enjoys selling her work at these retail shows as it gives her a chance to meet her end customers, see the reactions to her work, and interact with those who appreciate what she creates!  Slate Works always has unique new products to offer at each show and continually changes and improves its home & garden décor line to reflect new trends and customer needs.  Slate Works is becoming well known for its quality giftware and has been featured in many magazines over the last few years including Style at Home, Avenue Homes, Best Homes, and Toronto Life