A white Italian marble with distinctively gorgeous grey veins, Carrara marble is a high-grade natural stone material that has enthralled generations as an element of luxury and refinement. Named after the town in Tuscany, Italy, where it is quarried, it is known for its timeless look that works well in both traditional and contemporary settings. Each piece is unique like a fingerprint, its veins giving the marble’s smooth, polished surface that extra touch of beauty and character.
Article by Angela Low
O ne of nature’s greatest gifts, Carrara marble has been associated with exclusivity nearly since the dawn of modern civilisation about 2,000 years ago. Its proliferation in the Roman Empire saw the creation of copious white marble masterpieces in ancient art and architecture, such as The Pantheon, Trajan’s Column, and the Column of Marcus Aurelius.
Perhaps the most prominent use of this Italian marble lies in the sculptures of legendary artists like Donatello, Antonio Canova, and above all, Michelangelo. Next to his grandiose Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco, Michelangelo’s magnum opuses were his David and Pieta statues, both of which were carved out of blocks of Carrara marble he had putatively selected himself.
Widely treasured for its superior quality and expressive features, the classic Carrara marble has made its way into contemporary luxury designs, appropriating the traditional material in novel, unorthodox ways while retaining its grandeur.
One such example is the Apollo lamp, designed in 2013 by Lucie Koldova and Dan Yeffet, a duo of product and furniture designers based in Paris. A hidden light source emits a glow within the glass body that’s juxtaposed by two pieces of curved Carrara marble, forming the top and bottom plate of the lamp. An object of sculptural beauty, it deviates from purely functional interpretations of the heavy marble, as seen in the iconic 1962 Arco floor lamp by FLOS that uses the material as a solid base for the lamp’s stainless steel structure.
Another collaborative design between Koldova and Yeffet is the 2012 Iconic full-length mirror that was meant to dominate a space like a stately Greek statue. While the Carrara marble base lends it a regal, sculptural quality and harks back to ancient aesthetics, the simple silhouette gives it a soft, un-ostentatious elegance that fits into the 21st century. On his own, Yeffet continues to take inspiration from raw materials, incorporating Carrara marble into his artful furniture designs.
The Torch floor light, for instance, echoes the minimalist statuesque form of his previous works, with a vase-like Carrara marble bottom and a bulbous blown-glass top. His Orion candle holder, however, breaks the mold of how he uses marble. Instead of a thick, weighted slab that serves as an imposing foundation, he cuts them up into thin slices and arranges them around the candle with gaps in between. While retaining his signature style of simplicity, the design experiments with form and breathes new life into a classic material.
One cannot delve into contemporary renditions of Carrara marble in the world of design without mentioning Toni Grilo, the French-Portuguese designer who created the iconic stainless steel Bibendum chair in 2009.
Equally as bold and statement-making as the chair is the Lythos table, except it boasts sharp lines instead of round curves, and in place of metal is the polished purity of white marble. Designed in partnership with Haymann, it looks like a floating monument, an inverted pyramid with a minimalist, geometric shape. Blurring the line between art and furniture, Grilo crafted it as a practical piece for the modern consumer. A functional feature of the Lythos table is its extreme lightweight design, which allows it to be easily moved. It also has a hidden internal counterbalance that aids in its practical use despite the illusion of defying gravity.
Besides Carrara, there is an abundance of other high-end marble varieties as well, each with its unique intricacies and characteristics. In the range of white Italian marbles, there is Calacatta (often confused with Carrara) and Statuario. Other luxe materials include Emperador marble, Green Guatemala marble, Marquina marble, Portoro marble, and Paonazzo marble. For such wide-ranging marble offerings, Ooumm is the brand to go to. Displaying the sophistication of marble in urban designs, the French label has a catalogue that features fragrances, candle holders, as well as other home accessories.
From Michelangelo’s Pietas to the contemporary luxury designs of Grilo, Koldova and Yeffet, Carrara marble has proven to be a high-grade material that not only stands the test of time, but also boasts a versatility that suits both classic and contemporary works of art.
具有独特灰色纹理的白色Carrara 意大利大理石是几代人梦寐以求的豪华高档天然石材。位于意大利Tuscany同名的开采小镇, 以其传统和现代设计效果和永恒的华丽外观而知名。每件作品就像独一无二的指纹一样, 其灰色纹理给予每片光滑精致的大理石独特的个性。
Article by Angela Low / Translation by Amber Durrant Feng Yulin
大自然美丽的杰作之一，Carrara大理石大约在2000年前的早期现代文明时就已经被使用。 随着罗马帝国的扩散，白色大理石在古代艺术和建筑中留下了无数杰作，如The Pantheon, Trajan’s Column, 和 the Column of Marcus Aurelius。 无数的艺术家也钟爱于Carrara大理石，如Donatello, Antonio Canova和 Michelangelo。 在 Michelangelo宏伟的西斯廷教堂天花板壁画旁就是他的代表作大卫和圣母雕塑。而这两件雕塑都是由Michelangelo亲自挑选的Carrara大理石塑刻出来的。
经典的Carrara大理石以其卓越的品质和表现力被现代豪华设计广泛使用。 其中包括2013年由两位巴黎产品和家具设计师Lucie Koldova 和 Dan Yeffet设计的Apollo灯。 隐藏的光源投射在由两片弯曲Carrara大理石形成的灯顶板和底板。 这一设计使它突破了传统大理石重型雕塑的功能，如FLOS1962年使用Carrara大理石作为不锈钢结构的基座的代表设计Arco落地灯一样。
谈到设计，就不能不提到以前卫而知名的2009年不锈钢Bibendum椅的法国葡萄牙籍设计师Toni Grilo。 同样大胆的是他与Haymann合作设计的 Lythos 咖啡桌。尖锐的线条和白色大理石取代了圆形曲线和金属抛光，像浮动的纪念碑和一个几何形状的倒金字塔。在模糊艺术与家具之间的界限同时，Grilo的设计制作也具有现代消费者需要的实用功能。 Lythos咖啡桌与它重力的幻觉相反，极端轻便的设计和隐藏在内部的平衡设计使它能够轻易地移动。
除’Carrara外，无数其他豪华大理石品种各有其独特的特点和复杂性。 在意大利白色大理石范围内，有Calacatta（常与Carrara混淆）和Statuario。 其他奢华材料包括Emperador大理石，绿色Guatemala大理石，Marquina大理石，Portoro大理石和Paonazzo大理石。 Ooumm在如此广泛的大理石产品中，为你提供最佳选择的品牌。 在Ooumm的产品目录中你可以看到家居香水，烛台，以及其他各种用大理石设计的城市家居产品。
从Michelangelo的Pieta到Grilo, Koldova 和Yeffet的现代豪华设计, Carrara大理石这种豪华材料不仅经得起时间的考验，而且还拥有艺术经典和当代设计的通用性。