Recently England’s footballers were outclassed by their German counterparts.

It wasn’t just the defeat itself that was painful, but the manner in which it happened.

Mesmerising skill and layers of talent infused with classic Germany efficiency had us chasing our tails for the best part of 90 minutes.

And even more embarrassingly, their SECOND string never needed to come out of SECOND gear on OUR turf.

And while watching, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the natural slate industry. If anyone has had the privilege of seeing a German slate roof, you’ll know where I am coming from. They literally take your breath away.

In their culture, natural slate is regarded as an art form, and the outside of the building is just as important as the inside.

The design, the detail, the execution – it’s awe-inspiring. From a palette of 60+ sizes, German architects dream up a concept, put their ideas on paper and hand it over to the “slate artists” to execute.

What I try and do in my job is help people involved with slate make informed decisions on their slate specifications. To do this, I have to show what can be achieved because if you don’t know what you are aiming for, you will never get there.

Here are some masterpieces:

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