Winter Warmer – blend of Black Tan & Ash


Black Tan & Ash.. For the beer drinkers among us, you’re forgiven thinking were referring to the infamous British brew  ‘Black and Tan’ – the half-half pint of black Guinness and golden Pale Ale.

Black Tan & Ash also conjures up images of huddling around the fire place. Black coals, Tan Timber and white powdery ash crumbling away at the sides.

Unfortunately this Black Tan & Ash doesn’t involve a ye-olde english pub or being huddled around a fireplace. It does however, bring us just as much an experience of warmth and cold – in the form of coloured stone.

Winter Warmer paving

We love the versatility this blend of StoneSet resin bound stone brings, particularly to red brick homes with larger paved surfaces. Here the Sun and Shadows really drive the contrasting characteristics of white marble and black granites, mediated by reddish brown of Tan.

Blends of coloured stones bring a variety of their natural character. Unlike more uniformity a single-origin quarried stone brings, the Black Tan & Ash brings a more complex interplay of light between the sun and the shadows.

In direct sunlight the white marble ‘Ash’ dominates, reflecting the brilliance of the suns rays, which outshines the black of granite and is warmed by the vibrancy of red-ochre sun brings out of the Tan gravel.

Where shadows fall, it is the black granite that predominates. This is due to the absence of light turning the white marble to a subdued grey. The Tan also sinks back from red to dark brown and is almost indistinguishable from the Black.

Simultaneous Modern and classic

This is where the addition of Tan does so well to mediate between an otherwise speckled Black and White.

‘Salt and Pepper’ is popular for more modern homes, where they display a more contrasting facade of white brick against a dark blue or grey flashing. These high contrasts are desirable to achieve sleek delineated looks, when accentuating the hard-lines modern building materials bring such as aluminium cladding.

Red brick homes owe their familiar pinkish colour to the pigment iron oxide – which is added to clay (Alumina) bricks, to bring down the heating temperatures required to fire them in the kiln. This of course brings down energy costs and explains why red-bricks are much more predominant in residential construction, more ‘traditional’ and natural than white ones (which is pigmented by magnesium oxide).

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This is why Black Tan Ash simultaneously embodies aspects of Modern (contrasting black and whites) and Contemporary (traditional ochres of red bricks).

Autumn Reds, Winter Greens

The iron pigment in the ‘Tan’ Calca stone similarly reflects heat and sunlight at the lower range of the electromagnetic spectrum, the ‘red light’ after the higher energy ‘blues’ of ultraviolet are absorbed (and let out as heat).

Continuing on with our science lesson, the red colour of Autumn leaves are due to their loss of green chlorophyll, the natural shedding of leaves by deciduous plants in the winter. The greens normally masks the red ‘carotinoids’ of the leaf. Not long after the leaves die, they of course drop to the ground and turn brown.

So here, we raise a glass to the transformation into this beautiful warm modern home. Black Tan Ash was the perfect choice to bring out a clean modern home design through contrasting black and whites, together with the warmth of traditional reds in a red brick home.