By Bhandari marble group,
have a long life. These marble’s raw stones are imported from Italy in India and have high demand around the world. These marble stones are of really very good. A most famous type of this marble is Perlato, Dyna and beige marble.
Marble is a highly desirable material ubiquitous throughout the fields of sculpture, architecture and design. It is a natural stone available in numerous colours and styles with connotations to antiquity and luxury. Here we explore its history both geologically and within the arts. We shed light on the famous region of Carrara, its quarries and workforce, and highlight exemplary uses and contemporary design.
All marble is a type of limestone, however, the term is somewhat broad and describes a group of rocks with varying petrographic aspects. In its most refined form the famous white statuary marble of Carrara it contains maximum calcite. This type was created over millions of years ago from the skeletal remains of tiny calciferous sea creatures, which formed deep sediment on the ocean bed. As the earth’s tectonic plates shifted this sediment was subjected to enormous heat and pressure causing the calcium carbonate to crystallise. Over millions of more years this was slowly pushed to the surface and now forms the area we know as the Apuan Alps in Tuscany, Italy.
Carrara Bianco marble
On the opposite end of the spectrum to Carrara Bianco, there are marbles which display a riot of rich colours and patterns. These are also sedimentary limestones but are usually from the detrital or chemical origin and are coloured by a variety of minerals such as graphite and iron oxide. When speaking commercially, classification becomes even broader to include rocks with silicate minerals from a magmatic beginning, such as types of quartzite. Although these have a different composition they have similar workability characteristics and sometimes appearance.
rock-forming minerals containing varying ratios of silicon and oxygen.
Evidence of marble sculpture and stonework within Europe goes back to the Small carved figures of people and animals have been found from this time on Crete and the Cycladic islands. It is believed they used marble pebbles washed up on beaches complete with smooth edges courtesy of the undulating waves. During the succeeding newly invented tools improved sculpting techniques and made working with larger, half eroded or partially freed marble possible. They had two categories; stones which could be polished were called Marmora and stones which couldn’t be called lapse. Interestingly, the word ‘Marmora’ comes from the Greek ‘Marmaris’, which means shining.
After designing implements for extracting and transporting large marble blocks, as it was then known, in the Italian vicinity of Carrara is a small port town founded around. It was there and in the surrounding hills that the Carrara quarries were opened and the marble trade began. The Carrara quarries were excavated using these rudimentary tools for hundreds of years and all the while the output grew in popularity. Marble was considered a luxury because it was expensive, imported from other regions. Using such a luxurious material was a public display of wealth and wealth equated to power. Nevertheless in spite of its favour as the empire declined, so did Luni and the quarries of Carrara. The harbour gradually filled with silt until it became a mosquito-infested swamp and extraction had ceased entirely.
During the Renaissance Carrara and particularly its near-flawless maximum calcite Statuario marble received international recognition. It became the stone of choice for Michelangelo and many other artists for a number of reasons. Firstly, calcite is a soft mineral and is relatively easy to cut and shape. In addition, the uniform fine grain allows for precise detail. Its purity means it boasts a luminous whiteness, enhanced by the fact calcite allows light to penetrate an inch or two deep. And in slight contrast, the surface itself has a waxy quality akin to human skin. These qualities make it the ideal material for those who want their image of man to transcend into a godlike figure.
Thanks in part to the Renaissance sculptors the quarries of Carrara have had no rest to this day. Supply and demand are now greater than ever due to technological advances and globalisation. However, in the run-up to the boom, the slow and arduous quarrying process was only occasionally relieved by new inventions. three-strand wire saws made abrasive with sand and lubricated by water were introduced. Quarrymen were finally able to put down their handsaws, but the huge problem of wastage remained. Excavated blocks would be rolled down the mountain and during this mostly would be lost to rubble. Oxen and carts would transport what remained to port. Sometimes sledges would be used for extra heavy pieces of twenty-five to thirty tons. this process as a stream meandering down to the bottom of the valley over a bed of stones of all forms and sizes. rudimentary carts of five-hundred years ago or so are still in use. Two, four, ten, twenty pairs of oxen per block, depending on size, are used. took an interest in Carrara and invested in building railroads. marble left the region this way. At this point quarrying became electrified and pneumatic hammers were introduced. diamond-toothed wire saws had arrived and the railways were abandoned in favour of trucks – both of which are still used today.
these new technologies quarrying still requires a huge amount of intrinsic knowledge, something which quarrymen learn only through experience. They feel a deep connection to the area many families go back generations and talk of marble as a living entity. It contains anima or soul, it sings and its nerves make it strong. The groans and movements which come from the mountains show that it is awake. It is unsurprising that such rich terminology has developed as the quarries are otherworldly places. The translucency and patterning of the stone, the vibrant bright white light it reflects and the sheer scale. Vast excavations which cut deep into mountains millions of years old speak of human endeavour in all its beauty and brutality.
The Tuscan regional government introduced mining regulations and turned the Apuan Alps into a national park. Since then there has been a sizeable reduction in the number of quarries. Records show that of these were in Carrara. To protect the surface environment much quarrying has gone underground. However, this impacts upon the human workforce as the noise of jackhammers, bulldozers, excavators etc. echoing through the chambers becomes literally deafening. What’s more despite the reduced number of quarries production remains at an all-time high. Today around many million tons are being quarried a year. There is no shortage in sight in the foreseeable future, and the rate of production will depend on demand and environmental issues.
Underground marble mine, Carrara, Italy
Wastage has been dramatically reduced with new extraction methods but not eliminated. A regional waste industry has been established and now marble unfit for traditional use is repurposed in a variety of ways. Some rubble is kept within the quarries and used to cushion the fall when large blocks are excavated. Some are powdered and sold as architectural render known as stucco. Refined marble powder compromising mainly of calcium carbonate has a value of meaning it is neutral to slightly alkaline and is suitable for acid neutralisation purposes. It is added to lakes and rivers to help restore a healthy habitat for aquatic life. The powder which has been further distilled is known as whiting and is used in many over-the-counter acid reflux medicines. These are just a few examples, usage goes as far as ceramics, glue, paper, dyes and paints. However, dealing with waste marble is just one of many complementary industries. There are countless workshops that deal with the cutting, sculpting, polishing and finishing of all types of marble. Artists will submit designs and have a Carraresi craftsperson sculpt it for them. Studios produce windowsills, tiles, gravestones, columns – all types of architectural embellishments exported.
Like most natural materials the supply and value of marble are based on demand and availability. White varieties have essentially remained fashionable since the Renaissance though the taste for colourful marbles in the broader sense of the term has fluctuated. rare types were very popular, but Neoclassicism pulled the focus firmly to white. The flavour for chromatic Notably the latter two were both sons of stonemasons. Rather than creating patterned inlays or intricate stonework as was tradition, this new wave emphasised the stone’s inherent beauty by using large slabs in the form of tiles, panels and tabletops. Whilst this approach was different the connotations of marble being precious, luxurious and sophisticated remained.
Breccia marble table, numerous architects and designers have and continue to incorporate marble into their furniture and lighting designs. It remains extremely popular with many classic pieces still in production, as well as being a go-to material for contemporary designers and manufacturers. Highlighted here are some key examples from the mid-twentieth century onwards.
the design, which is produced, is carved from one piece of Carrara marble.
one of the most famous marble tables, marbles for the tabletop. high-shine polish. This finish is preferable as colours appear more saturated and the marble is less porous.
dining table this statement piece comes in square or rectangular form.
Matric table. The black stained ash base supports a marble top available with or without a central turning table. Porro offer six marble finishes: calacatta oro, Carrara, covering fantastic, grey valentine,
These are only a few of the many classic and modern designs featuring marble available to order here. The brands we work with are consistently using the stone in new ways as technology advances add by marble stone expert and export team of Bhandari marble group.