Interview with Frieder Kattwinkel: The special features of handmade STEINBILDER  

04.12.2023 | INSIGHTS

In today's interview, I talk to Frieder Kattwinkel, our highly esteemed master carpenter in our "Steinerei". 

Hello Frieder, can you please introduce yourself briefly and tell us how you first came into contact with STEINBILDERN?  

Hello, with pleasure! My name is Frieder Kattwinkel. I'm a master carpenter and have been working with thin stone for 20 years. In this role, I've always been open to new things and on the lookout for exciting ideas. This also led me to found our "Steinerei" - a mixture of joinery and stone.
I actually came to the attention of STEINBILD when they saw one of my products. Shortly afterward, they asked me if I could also produce STEINBILDER - and of course I enthusiastically agreed! 

Master carpenters normally work with wood. What inspired you to work with natural stone?  

That's true, of course. However, thin stone is not only a fascinating and wonderful natural material, but can also be worked in a similar way to wood - and therefore also with woodworking machines. This property has enabled me to develop unique, previously unknown products. This is exactly what has always fascinated me. 

What techniques are used in the production of a STEINBILD? 

All the techniques used in our "Steinerei" originate from the traditional carpentry trade. For example, we use a classic woodworking machine for cutting. We also finish most natural stones in a final step that highlights and emphasises the colours and textures. Our work is not only characterised by craftsmanship, but also and above all by great care. 

What types of natural stone are used for production, and where are the natural stones sourced from? 

We work with a variety of stone types, including both hard stones such as granite and soft stones such as marble, onyx and quartzite.
Our stones are characterised by their expressive veins, their natural colouring and their impressive effect. I find it particularly noteworthy that we source these natural works of art from different parts of the world.   

How do you deal with the natural variations in the material, and how do they influence the end product? 

Through the artistic design of the cutting of large stone slabs, the images are selected in such a way that the individual character of the stone is emphasised and highlighted.  
This creates a fantastic look reminiscent of a painting, especially in the case of mirrored images. Many natural stones are given a special finish that brings out the variety of colours.  

Is there a natural stone that particularly fascinates you?    

Yes, I am particularly fascinated by the natural stone Patagonia with its impressive appearance and fascinating history. Then there are its translucent properties, which make it partially translucent and therefore lightable. 

What are the challenges of working with such an old and natural material as stone?  

A daily challenge is that thin stone is still very sensitive in its unprocessed state. This makes it all the more important to know exactly how to handle it. This is where we benefit from our many years of experience, which we can draw on.  
In rare cases, there are also some very brittle and crystalline stones that push us to our limits. But it is precisely these challenges that make the artworks and my work so appealing and exciting. 

Were there any special challenges or special projects where you had to be particularly creative?  

One particularly exciting project was a remarkably large STEINBILD, which was also illuminated from behind. The artwork measured an impressive 255 x 175 cm and weighed around 140 kg. Even two people could not carry and turn it. That's why we installed additional reinforcements for stability and suspension so that we could work with the natural stone. This is exactly the kind of challenge I love about working with natural materials. 

Is there a philosophy or motto that guides your work?  

My philosophy, which guides me every day at work, has always been to continue to improve in production, to learn from mistakes and to maintain respect for nature. So that every natural stone becomes the work of art it deserves to be. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us about working with STEINBILDERN?  

I look forward to every single new natural stone artwork that we are allowed to create, and therefore to every single day in the manufactory. And I am especially happy about every person who shares this enthusiasm for unique STEINBILDER with me. 


Do you have any wishes or suggestions for our blog?

Feel free to send me an email. I look forward to your feedback!

Best regards,

Sarah from STEINBILD