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Careful observation of lithic surfaces leads to the awareness of an appearance created by the intrinsic structure of the materials; colors and textures of the most varied shades and morphologies are given by the mineral aggregation, the types of crystals and their arrangements in the mass of matter. It is therefore an aspect that is the result of a three-dimensional structure that presents itself to visual and tactile perception through an action of separation, of cutting, which originates facies that are always different, even minimally different from centimetre to centimetre, for the same material depending on the point and manner in which an incision is made.

For this reason, the processes of selecting stones and interpreting their expressive qualities are to be regarded as a first type of creative and configurative action for lithic interior and product design: knowing a lithic material and choosing the way in which to cut it, in fact, we can sign the face of that material essence that we have decided to reveal to the observer and the user of spaces or objects.

A Calacatta marble cladding cut and arranged in book-match technique (interior design by Pibamarmi)

A second category of creative actions concerns surface treatments that can not only enhance the chromatic and textural qualities of the materials through polishing, but can also abrade the blocks or slabs in a more consistent manner, in a repetitive and diffuse, or rarefied, or punctual manner, obtaining different textures and patterns and revealing other visual and tactile qualities inherent to stone.

A sample of Arabescato marble with polished finish (left) and bush-hammered finish (right)

Observing and getting to know the surface and structure of stone is therefore indispensable to fully interpret the material's potential and new creative actions for an ever-evolving stone interior design, based on a hopefully quality design and execution culture that must justify the use of precious, non-renewable materials rich in strongly historicised cultural values.

Lithic surfaces with different types of processing and compositions (interior design by Pibamarmi)

- by Davide Turrini