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The Yankee Express

Cornerstone Creations casts your wishes

Jul 20, 2021 10:03AM ● By Chuck Tashjian
By Janet Stoica
For over 20 years, Pete Robitaille has been casting his artwork at his Sturbridge studio to the delight of his customers.  What began as a hobby for this creative collector of architectural art has blossomed into a full array of unique and custom-made everlasting pieces of concrete art.
“It’s not a heat process to cast these pieces of concrete statuary,” said Pete, “a mold is used to create each one and then a refinement process is used to bring each unit up to its full potential.”  Mr. Robitaille began his venture into concrete creations about 20 years ago when he met someone who was selling molds for the same price as statues. Apparently, his first purchase resulted in a creative streak that continues today with his large display of just about anything that his customers might imagine. “I make over 3,000 designs now,” he said, “and I work with mold-makers internationally from England to Australia to Germany and Russia.  I look for unique designs in the mythical, gothic, and nature-inspired areas. The most popular requests currently are for gnomes, gargoyles, bird baths, planters, and wall hangings.” 
His wall hangers can be used indoors or outdoors and are completed in a standard gray or antique finish. 
 It’s a niche market according to Mr. Robitaille as no one really does concrete art anymore. There are plastic resin designs from China but they certainly do not retain their sturdiness like the creations offered by Cornerstone, especially if the piece is an outdoor unit. Withstanding the New England weather from summer to winter is a true testament to the strength and durability of Cornerstone’s offerings. “These are not lightweight pieces,” he said, “these are made to last.”
The most unusual creations that Mr. Robitaille has created are for repositories of loved ones’ cremation ashes, be it for a family member or a dear family pet. He has also made statues of pets, epitaphs, and quotation markers.
The casting process involves the use of a blended concrete mixture that is poured into a mold form, taking care to ensure that air pockets are non-existent. Once the casting process has been completed and molded, a curing process is next, which may last up to a week. The finishing stage involves the use of a cement compound, filling in any imperfections for a fine finish and then, if requested by a customer or decided by Mr. Robitaille, priming and painting is done for an even more refined look. Some of his creations are definitely in the family heirloom category. His 1,000 square foot inventory includes a wide range of creations. Stunning statuary in a most unique environment.
Cornerstone Creations, 71 Main Street, Sturbridge. Phone: (508) 347-0888. 
   Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.   Find them on Facebook.     
Contact Janet:  jstoica