Marble restoration? No. Marble transformation.
Stone and marble: great transformists.
The greatest? Among construction and furnishing materials, most probably. Because they always have been (or lend themselves to be, innately). And not only because of all the possibilities granted by marble restoration.
We have already had the chance to
talk about the fact that marble and stone are not just durable materials, but … they also age well. Like good wine. My brother Claudio was able to introduce this topic a while back, in one of his own posts, where he told of the charming longevity of stone, with all his love for stone material. Today is a special day for us, a moment when Lithos Design, a great transformer of the “great transformists”, with the new project entitled Opus Motus embarks upon an alternative journey in stone design which could truly herald great metamorphoses in future, for stone and for us. This is why I wanted to gather this testimony today about the reflection of stone that ages, to continue the tale and talk about stone that transforms.
So, marble does not only age well. For marble, people talk about – and should talk about – renewal, re-use, rebirth. These concepts are linked closely to eco-compatibility, and therefore to the countless possibilities of re-using this natural and precious material, which is indeed renewable owing to its changing durability. These concepts also contain, and I am addressing my marble worker colleagues in particular, an incredible commercial value, which is underestimated much too often, also due to the lack of attention to convey it, clearly and primarily to the users. Ours is a material which – potentially – has an unlimited series of life cycles. The transformation in these cases may be profound, a new cloak that represents a clean cut from the previous one. Shapes and proportions change: a step becomes a shelf, a column turns into a vase. Stone has been neglected for many years as a construction and finishing material, and we are all responsible for not having been able to emphasise this aspect, among others.
And once again, I am talking about an aesthetic factor: a transformation due not only to time, but also to a creative approach. I’m talking about surface processing obviously. Perhaps people are more familiar with, but not in much detail, the possibilities that a skilled stone professional can offer to customise a kitchen worktop or a floor, playing on the contrasting and combination effects that different processes applied to different surfaces can afford with the same stone material, satisfying the imagination of architects and designers and delighting the sight, and more, of users. Obviously this is a less invasive transformation, but not for this matter of any less impact. Indeed, it is in this type of transformation that certain intrinsic characteristics are discovered, which make the stone product truly unique. Changing appearance without changing spirit: this is what happens to marble when you work on the surface finishes. Honing, polishing, bushhammering, chiselling… countless technical terms which represent countless processes which man, over centuries of traditions, have devised to add value, importance, as well as new life to stone, finding in this material alone such a strong aptitude for transformation. Various finishes for markedly distinguishing effects, which involve sight of course (a polished marble, which shows its colour with much greater intensity compared to the same sanded marble, catches the eye), but also touch (think of bushhammering or scratching) and, more generally, the various emotions that every different appearance of stone can arouse (a brushed finish, emphasising the grain and deformities of the stone, allows it to transmit a warm feeling).
Finishes are metamorphoses which also have an impact on the functionality of the same stone material, and therefore on its field of application, expanding it, or restricting it to comply with specific requirements and tastes, yet… this brings us back to concluding our trail of thought, to resume our reflections on longevity: stone can thus be transformed time and time again and…. be given a new lease of life each time.
Top picture: ‘Pamukkale’s travertine shelves’ by Frank K. [CC-BY-2.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Finishing pictures via www.margraf.it