CarraraMarmotec celebrates a culture of marble
Now taking place every two years, CarraraMarmotec was held from May 19 to 22 in Carrara, Italy - in the shadow of the Apuan Alps and its famed white marble. The event featured outdoor and indoor displays of stone and technology, and it also featured an in-depth cultural program that highlighted designs in natural stone.
Now in its 30th edition, CarraraMarmotec featured a total of 326 exhibitors from 21 countries, and they exhibited across an area of nearly 485,000 square feet.
“[The event is] one of the most fascinating business cards to promote not only Carrara, but Tuscany as a region,” said Gianfranco Simoncini, Tuscan Regional Councillor for Production who presided over the show’s ribbon-cutting. “The event that brings together the entire marble industry - from the quarries to the processing companies - with art and innovation.”
Exhibits at CarraraMarmotec included displays of the region’s renowned White Carrara marble in a variety of formats, including slabs, tiles, blocks and architectural elements. It also showcased a broad range of granite, marble, onyx, limestone, travertine and other stones from around the world in a broad range of formats. Of note, several companies were displaying exotic materials from regions such as South America, and they were being showcased in a book-matched format. In terms of stoneworking technology, CarraraMarmotec featured many manufacturers of large-scale equipment, such as computerized bridge saws, CNC stoneworking centers, automated polishers, quarrying machinery and more. Moreover, exhibitors showcased a wide variety of tooling and accessories, such as diamond blades, polishing wheels, diamond wire and installation/maintenance products.
Many technology suppliers offered new innovations at CarraraMarmotec, and show management acknowledged a number of exhibits with citations of achievement - dubbed the “Innovation Design Technology Award” - at the event.
Cultural InitiativesIn addition to offering visitors a large exhibition of stone and stoneworking technology, CarraraMarmotec allows attendees to tour the nearby marble quarries and stone-processing plants in the Carrara region. Additionally, the management of CarraraMarmotec has taken a number of steps to highlight the relationship between the stone industry and the design and sculpture community.
“[It is] a fair held at a difficult time for the industry - both on a national and an international level - and the companies exhibiting have shown that they believe in the industry by participating in an event that goes beyond the traditional trade fair concept to involve high-profile stone design and culture,” said Giorgio Bianchini, Chairman of Internazionale Marmi e Macchine (IMM) Carrara, organizer of the event.
Among the various cultural initiatives, the “Dressed Stone Design Awards” were presented to young designers, who were tasked with design bathroom objects using white marble.
Additionally, a large exhibition featured 100 pieces dedicated to Angelo Mangiarotti, a designer and architect who always had close relations with Carrara and marble.
Meanwhile, the Marble Architectural Awards (MAA) celebrated its Silver Edition at the last edition of CarraraMarmotec, and a number of the winning architects commented on their stone selection during the awards ceremony during the event. Also, a display with photos and information on the winning projects was located directly on the show floor.
CarraraMarmotec Remains True to Region's Sculptural RootsIn the world of sculpture, one of the most celebrated stone materials is White Carrara marble, and the locals in the Carrara region are quick to point out that it was one of Michelangelo’s preferred mediums for his work.
Today, the artisans of the Carrara region continue that tradition of stone sculpture, and the latest edition of CarraraMarmotec included an extensive display from the various studios in the area. Among the displays of sculpture, Staturia Arte of Nazzano Carrara, Massa, Italy, showcased a range of its works in local marble. A number of the artisans were on hand to discuss their work, including Simona Bocchi, who has been involved in projects within Italy as well as in Norway, India and other locations around the world. Her sculpture at the event, “Venus,” was made from the “Statuario” variety of White Carrara marble and measures 58 x 30 x 20 cm. The work was completed in Italy in 2007, and Bocchi has spent the past three years working in India.
“Living in India has given me a very traditional approach to my work,” she said. “There, you work by hand with no set time to finish. After some time in India, I really noticed the difference there compared to what is happening elsewhere. So often, technology is being used instead of pure sculpture, with computers doing everything and a ‘statue’ being completed overnight. We have to be courageous and keep going, and help people recognize the difference between true design and something that is simply a copy of a sculpted form that was done on a machine. When you place your devotion and soul into a piece, it will come through in the finished product.”
Bocchi said that while working in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India - which she called the “Venice of the East” - she can be sculpting as many as three different works simultaneously. “Each piece is worked as needed, and I am not pushing against time,” she said. “When you are working by yourself, there are no exterior influences. You grow slowly by yourself, and it gives me the opportunity to be working purely.”