It was obvious from the visitors’ reactions at the stand of the Italian marble company Margraf at the Salone del Mobile fair that the core piece in the new collection “Velata“ (Veiled) was something very special: they walked around the massive piece of white marble, felt its folds, pulled out their cell phones, and you could literally see them trying to fully understand what was so familiar to them about this massive piece of marble on the one hand, but what was so unusual on the other.
We felt the same way, and we asked the artist and industrial designer Raffaello Galiotto about his latest work: it is a snapshot of a tablecloth on a terrace – a gust of wind has just passed under the fabric, pushing it under the table on one side and making it flutter a little on the other.
You know this situation from everyday life, but admittedly: designed in stone you have not seen it. You can only capture it with a camera, because the very next moment the gust of wind is over again, and the tablecloth is already simply hanging down.
One recognizes that it is great art by the fact that suddenly many new aspects emerge, if one deals with the work of the industrial designer and pioneer of the stone designers, because: actually, there is no table, but one sees one, of course.
Our perception is a fascinating thing because, in everything we perceive, we begin to interpret what we see (or hear, etc.) and compare it with similar situations that we have already experienced and stored in our memory.
The same is true for a second work at Margraf’s stand, namely, the cloth thrown over an chair.
Both continue the old tradition of sculpture of veiled faces, which for centuries have tempted sculptors to navigate the narrow path between the representable and the experiment.
Now Galiotto is an industrial designer, so his work focuses on objects that can be used in everyday situations. His table with the Fluttering Tablecloth can also be thought of as a display surface for very special things in a showroom. Transporting the piece was made easier by the fact that the solid block of Carrara marble with a beautiful brownish vein is slightly hollowed.
And the standard pieces from the collection, those waving textiles made of different types of marble, can in turn be designed for any use in terms of size and shape.
We already know precursors from the facade “Ripple,“ which Galiotto designed for Margraf in 2020.
That design and the latest creations look so effortless, yet for “Velata,“ Galiotto spent many hours on the computer to cast the exact folds of a gust of wind into a program that the CNC machine can then use to mill the sides of the raw block. And how long did the machine work on it? “About a week, around the clock,“ says Galiotto who, modest as he is, downplays the effort.
He sees his own work, that of the machines and the collaboration with Margraf as fulfilling an activity at the highest level, as he says, and so at the end of our conversation at the world’s most important trade fair for furniture and furnishings, we also learn a fun story that unfortunately could not be realized: actually, the creatives wanted to present the wind-stone-objects on a tubular stand, where there was a powerful fan at the entrance. However, this failed because there were only limited variation possibilities for exhibition stands.
Technical characteristics (source: Margraf):
Velata table – dim. table: 275 x 137 x h 75 cm
Velata chair – dim. chair 105 x 67 x h 87 cm
Finish: fine honed
Finish: Fabric, Ipogeo® Collection
Thanks to research by the Margraf Innovation Lab – the company’s creative hub, which gives innovative twists to marble – the Ipogeo® collection has broken new ground by presenting marble drapes with surfaces that have been processed to look like textiles. Introducing Fabric by the Ipogeo® Collection:
* The Arabescato Corchia Drape (87 x 175 x th. 24 cm) has a Fabric finish on broken marble, the cracks in which have been repaired with 24ct gold leaf, elevating the material and harnessing the faults in a sustainable celebration of imperfection.
* The Cremo Italia Drape (110 x 175 x th. 14 cm) symbolizes linen processing and features two different finishes that conjure up images of the fabric before and after weaving. The marble really resembles linen thanks to the design and the two different tones.
* The Grigio Carnico Drape (102 x 175 x th. 20 cm) has a finish reminiscent of velvet. The core concept is that it is split into two parts: one that is already complete and one that is being processed.
* The Breccia Bohemien Drape (88 x 175 x th. 13 cm) recreates the dyeing techniques of the ancient Phoenicians. Using natural methods, they produced highly distinctive fabrics that they famously coloured with a bright crimson hue. This drape metaphorically represents a fabric that has been dipped into red dye for the first time. It will only take on the final, truly spellbinding shade of red after going through the process for a second time.
(29.05.2023, USA: 05.29.2023)