Crazy about MARBLE
Crazy about MARBLE
Marble’s use in Design, art and architecture can be traced back many thousands of years to early Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. Athens’ Parthenon, Rome’s Pantheon, Agra's Taj Mahal, London’s Marble Arch and Michelangelo’s masterpiece ''David'' are just some of the historic instances where marble has been used. The word ‘marble’ is derived from the Greek ‘marmaros’ and is interpreted as ''a snow white and spotless stone'' (source), despite the fact that marble has many colour variants. Types of marble are equally variable, from Tuscany’s pure white/grey Carrara marble to limestone, green marble and cultured marble (a composite of marble dust and cement).
The Greeks sculpt the image of their Gods. Rome imports it at great expense from the Orient, but also makes it cut in its mountains and islands by slaves with a forehead marked with red iron. They extracted the coarse-grained Paros, the fine marble of the Penthelica and, in Carrara, a superb white marble with limpid crystals called diamonds.
The mining, processing and use of natural stone, particularly marble, is a mammoth modern day industrial enterprise. The demand for marble and its different forms is exemplified by the number of dedicated trade shows worldwide.
Invoking notions of high-end living and affluence, marble speaks to refined taste and discernment. Yet it would appear that in recent times marble has worked diligently to alter its affiliation with ideas of ostentation and excess, instead gaining favour with a cohort of contemporary designers and design-conscious consumers. As a material, marble is tactile and strong, imbued with both emotion and cultural relevance. It has a valuable and versatile quality, finding application in luxury interiors and modern settings, in combination with natural materials such as copper, leather and wood, and in faux decoration and ornamentation.
There was a continuation of the trend for marble’s use in design, with numerous designers and studios applying this natural material, and variations thereof, to their work. The trend was conspicuous at many design trade shows, including the Stockholm Furniture Fair, Milan design week and London Design Festival.
New and advanced technologies have augmented the number of ways in which designers can create and apply shapes using marble, thereby increasing productivity of and accessibility to marble-based products (albeit, some might argue, at the expense of traditional forms of craftsmanship).
In previous years, we have seen many examples of marble’s versatility in furnishings, lighting, storage, accessories, tableware, interiors and fashion…
Australian designers Like Hayden Cox and his Haydenshapes Marble Collection, following by Andrew Perkins with his marble design range, we also find the marble with our Italian designers, Morà Busoli and her marble sunglasses, Alberto Bellamoli with the Collecta Coffee Table and Moreno Ratti and his stunning marble vases.
With the shift in consumer attitudes towards the merits of buying design that is long-lasting, environmentally friendly and sustainable, it is hoped that marble will be one trend that escapes the ravages of our throwaway society.
Here our selection: