Why natural stone is a noble material

Yesterday I walked into a mechanical workshop.
Nothing to do with stone? Well, that depends…
And as is often the case, this immediately led me
to a discussion and debate with the owner of this company
about how such different types of materials are used and processed by manufacturing companies these days.
One sentence more than others stuck with me:
“Stone, unlike many others, is a noble material.”
I thought about it. And it is really true.

For us marble workers, we take this so much for granted
that we even sometimes forget this,
but we must not forget how the material we work with is perceived by the observer,
by the person who uses it and wears it down:
stone is the noble material par excellence.

But this is because it deserves to be,
since it has accompanied mankind in his long history,
a topic which I also covered in my previous post
but which I feel is so important that I think it is never emphasised enough.
Stone has earned its nobility, because within it lies
the story of mankind, along with its own.


Michelangelo – Pietà


Let’s think of Pietà. Michelangelo extracted his masterpiece
from that block of Carrara marble to express himself as man and as artist
through stone.
Just like Palladio did, and Canova, and also Modigliani.
Stone is expression of art, and if art is beauty,
then stone can be none other than ennobled by the artist’s chisel.
The texture of stone becomes
the mirror of a sculptor’s soul, in which he sees
his joys, his fears, his nightmares and his dreams.
Of course, these days many artists
see all this in a host of very different materials,
and in this field also experimentation is broad-ranging and increasingly interesting,
but the history of stone…


Medicine Wheel, a Native American sacred site and National Historic Landmark in Wyoming


Ancient American Indians
always considered certain stone objects as Entities,
with a strong medicinal power, used as hand-made amulets
made with stones from their sacred mountains.
Entire populations have adored their gods, depicting them in stone images.
And we are not immune to this force: just enter the most barren of churches,
and you’ll see the figure of the local patron saint
depicted in local marble.

We must not forget
that working with stone is a privilege,
because this fact is undisputed:
stone is just one of the most noble materials
that the earth has gifted to mankind.

Picture of Michelangelo’s Pietà by xlibber
Top picture: Beijing – The Forbidden City – Marble relief with dragons


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