Run-up to Marmomac 2019: natural stone and water in experiments with Solid Liquid Stone

“In nature, liquids penetrate solids and stone becomes the basin that collects water.”

This is how Raffaello Galiotto, the curator of the Solid Liquid Stone exhibition for Marmomac 2018, described the underlying premise for the proposals developed by designers and companies taking part in the last edition of The Italian Stone Theatre. In fact, Man enters the natural relationship between water and stone with his needs and skills, where creativity and the ability to interpret and transform natural materials come into play.

Inspirations compared

Among the principles inspiring these projects, the shape of utility especially guided some of the designers taking part. Lorenzo Damiani, for example, tackled the relationship between water and stone with the intention not of saving stone material but water: the small outdoor hand basin he designed allows users to choose whether to send water to the appropriate drain or alternatively to a recipient – bucket, watering can – for recycling. The funnel seemed to be the most appropriate solution to give shape to this idea; collaboration with GMM ensured a simple and effective design proposal.

Francesco Faccin also started off his project from the recollection of an artefact boasting ancient traditions – fountains, which in some areas of Italy and especially in Lombardy, is the place where water is collected so that animals can drink, be they natural – a spring in a field – or artificial, such as a basin. Setting off from this starting point, the re-design of this rural archetype was investigated with Silvestri Marmi with a similar constructive principle of jointing stone slabs.

Holy stone and carved stone

The source of the idea, as such and even in a figurative sense, is often symbolic in nature. For Liquid Solid Stone, Emanuel Gargano conceived a bathtub and shower with a sacred pattern, hence the name Apse: the rite of ablutions is consequently celebrated within these artefacts by Ramella Graniti starting from unique, hollowed pieces.

Giulio Iacchetti turned to sacred objects in their own right – holy water fonts – traditionally in natural stone and linked with ritual gesture of washing our hands. This proposal reveals a profound and sacred meaning of stone, that is also expressed through the choice of a material such as red porphyry – exclusively used in ancient Rome for the Emperor – to model the geometric basins balanced on polished supports.

From technique to form

Considerations concerning the processing techniques, on the other hand, underlie the proposal by Moreno Ratti. Coming from the Carrara area where the stone industry is a resource that, however, produces a great deal of many waste – only 50% of a quarry block effectively becomes a finished product – Ratti used a “secondary material”, the slabs produced by Stonethica using offcuts, to model the three-dimensional blocks used to make the washbasins on display.

Rational use of material is also the basis for Tasca, the project by Raffaello Galiotto developed with Margraf: the soft shapes of this pair of wall-mounted or free standing sinks derive from the superimposition of elements produced by concentric cuts in a single block. The hollow forms thereby obtained are also used to house the pipes at the base of the sinks.


Liquid, Solid, Stone
curated by Raffaello Galiotto
Projects by Lorenzo Damiani, Francesco Faccin, Emanuel Gargano, Gumdesign, Giulio Iacchetti, Moreno Ratti, Elena Salmistraro, Pio & Tito Toso
Images: Luca Morandini

Doppio Pensiero
Designer: Lorenzo Damiani
Production: Gmm
Software: Licom Systems – Alphacam
Material by Tosco Marmi Group

Designer: Francesco Faccin
Production: Silvestri Marmi

Designer: Emanuel Gargano
Production: Ramella Graniti
Bath tub material: Luserna by Ramella Graniti
Wall cladding material: Blue San Nicola by Trambisera Marmi

Designer: Giulio Iacchetti
Production: Helios Automazioni
Wall material by Antolini

Designer: Moreno Ratti
Production: Petris – Stonethica
Material: Carrara Mix by Stonethica

Designer: Raffaello Galiotto
Production: Margraf
Material: Calacatta


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