With a continuous and rhythmic movement, the machine slices into the outer skin of the stone slab in sinuous shapes, in artificial brush strokes that steadily remove the material, moving about as if carving wood in a way that picks up the figurative idea of the designer. The surface is the arena where the intentions of the project are expressed. The substance, stone material, is the realm of natural beauty.
The work of Raffaello Galiotto for Lithos Design that will be shown at the Salone del Mobile 2013 furniture show, Le Pietre Luminose, brings us a further reflection about the meaning and innovative potential applications of a surface-layer incision of stone into thin sheets, increasing the novelty value of the experience of the project through special properties that are provided by the very mineral material itself.
In the stone, in those crystalline marbles pre-selected for the new collection, were deposited centuries ago various signs and codes created by nature: fossilised geometries inscribed in the form of crystals, lines, spots, vortices and nebulae, coloured stains and mineral shapes.
Imprisoned and encapsulated in the darkness of the stony mass, all these features can be opened up to the light. A simple cut, a shallow or deeper incision, will reveal an intimacy which would otherwise be inaccessible, uncovering fragments of a greater universe to which the element itself belonged, as part of a whole – indications of the creative energy present in the natural world.
Pietre Luminose, the new collection from Lithos Design, exhibits the beauty and uniqueness of the stones by placing them next to an external source of light, in order to reveal a further quality in them, their translucence.
The artificial light source, which has been measured and subjugated to the requirements of the project, hidden behind the modular slab, is used to fashion the material and allows the visual ability of the observer to penetrate the surface which has been transformed into a magical, yet illusory, source of light. The light penetrates the stony mass, pervades it, and reveals the unintended masterpiece created by nature.
The design inscribed in the stone is reinvented by the modern design that has been created to overwrite it with its own new geometry of lines and spots, characters and shapes, that are obtained thanks to the precision of modern finishing technology, which re-reads and interprets, almost recreates, the imaginary underlying mineral.
Different grades and nuances of colours and spatial thicknesses, sensations of movement, illusory compositions that change depending on the angle and degree of illumination of the light itself, play across the expanse of the stony surface and drive the imagination into a state of spell-bound contemplation. The observer participates in a sensorial experience where vision transfers vibrations to the other senses, and the illusion of lightness and immateriality made possible by the “shine-through” qualities of the material, invites the viewer to tap the surfaces with a finger in order to obtain proof of their solidity.
The marriage arranged between the secret adaptation of the material and the project itself, which is highly industrialised, can be serially reproduced, can be enjoyed and indeed applied in modular fashion in interior spaces, happens thanks to the effect of light.
The light creates similarities between the unpredictable heterogeneity of the stone elements and the designs traced on them as harmonious single units, accommodating and emphasising the qualities of their multiform dimensions.