Suspended stones

Suspended stones

Lightness and extraordinary detail thanks to ‘virtuous machines’.

Two stone chandeliers: It would seem to be an impossible challenge, given the specific weight of stone materials, and yet highly advanced numerical control techniques together with sophisticated parametric design today make the unthinkable possible. Tangible evidence was provided by the Virtuous Machines exhibition curated by Raffaello Galiotto for Marmomac 2017. The intention was to stimulate experimentation with processing techniques in the natural stone sector at the same time as demonstrating applications in the field of mass-produced and commercial products.

Genesi is a hanging chandelier comprising 36 hollow segments in Calacatta marble assembled in a ring, with an internal LED light source that enhances the translucent nature of the material. Each segment was produced with six waterjet cuts on six trapezoidal tiles. The reconfiguration of these elements into a closed shape is guided by steel cables passing through holes drilled into the segments. The shaping, openings and the overall design of the chandelier are the outcome of a sophisticated three-dimensional design process. The overall dimensions this object – produced by Mondo Marmo Design and Prussiani Engineering – are more than five times the volume of the material used to maximize size and minimize the use of raw materials.

Genesi is an original design by Raffaello Galiotto, whereas Rezzonico is his re-design of a traditional Venetian chandelier by Seguso Gianni. In this experiment, glass items mounted on a metal structure are interpreted through the use of marble – in this case, Palissandro supplied by the Tosco Marmi Group – processed with waterjet technology by Intermac to demonstrate the extraordinary potential of water cutting and its capability for producing finely detailed products with a considerable reduction in the amount of material used. The chandelier measures 137 cm in diameter but was in fact made from a slab measuring only 70x70x5 cm: a fine example of economy of means in relation to the desired ends.

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