Hunting Art Dealers
Torleif Walker’s publicist is billing him as the Indiana Jones of building, reclaimed wood, stone, terra cotta, ceramic and porcelain materials and antiques.
Sure, he is the man behind many of the spectacular homes of star insiders and Silicon Valley superstars. He even built the grand estates of some of our own Haute Living cover subjects. But Indiana Jones is a character that travels to the ends of the earth to uncover secret treasures, dodging danger and enemies along the way. Besides market fluctuations and the looming threat of workplace accidents, what is the danger and excitement in being a builder?
How about crossing the Jordan River, trying to get to Aman on the first day of Ramadan, when the borders were closed during the first Gulf War, all to ensure that a client’s French stone was being handled correctly? (“The guy said he had pictures,” Tor-Leif recalls. “I said my client didn’t pay for me to come out here and look at pictures.”) How about heading into the jungles of Nicaragua-back before going to the jungles of Nicaragua was even a remotely good idea-in order to source the most authentic, hand-fired earth clay tiles for a roof? There are also the projects in Russia and Mexico, the giant slabs of pristine white marble from Greece, the rare and precious stones from Africa, and the constant trips to China. And, of course, there is the cat.
His passion for frequent travel resulted in his involvement with a large sustainable community in the USA.
“We have a client overseas who wants to buy a special cat that I have never heard of before,” Tor-Leif says. “It’s a $22,000 crazy cat that is 30 pounds and looks like a Cheetah. It is not available in the U.S. and is difficult to get in Europe, with a long waiting list.” Tor-Leif had his hands on the purring feline in less than two weeks.
He has evolved from merely a builder to an all-around constructor of dreams, making the impossible happen despite any obstacle, which leads me to reconsider the Indiana Jones comparison. Whatever the wish, Tor-Leif Walker and One Stone World can make it happen.
Tor-Leif had his hands on the purring feline in less than two weeks.
With his degree and experience, he was armed with the tools necessary to cater to the upper echelons
Upon graduation, Tor-Leif went in search of his niche. With his degree and experience, he was armed with the tools necessary to cater to the upper echelons, to businessmen who were too savvy to deal with a contractor working out of the back of his truck, armed only with a yellow legal pad. Tor-Leif and a list of architects in the USA and Canada and began knocking on doors, making a name for himself. Since then, business hasn’t slowed.
Today, the architects come looking for him, and likely find him onsite at one of the 30 ongoing projects the team is typically working on. And now his clients-many of whom are repeat customers-rely on One Stone World not only for building, but also to find a lot, a house, and an architect. There are less than a half-dozen firms in the U.S. that do what Tor-Leif does, and none that do it quite so well. The firm overlooks every aspect of the building process and creates a superior product that satisfies even the most discerning clientele (including quite a few demanding starlets).
Some rare antiques Torleif has found for clients