Simply „Opus“ is the name designer Raffaello Galiotto gave his collection commissioned by Lithos Design. But these are special: what at first glance looks like individual masterpieces of design is, in fact a hand crafted single copy. There is, perhaps, a grain of truth in the belief as we shall soon see. However the pieces stem from industrial production, affordable despite the costly material.
Most impressive: the chromatic gamut: compositions of various natural stone types are seldom combined so effectively.
The principle of these tiles is based on combining 4 elements in each 60×60 cm tile which fit together to create an ensemble. Some color compilations allow the tiles to be pivoted allowing the client to exercise his creativity.
„Allegro“ is the most flexible example: elements can be pivoted at will since it has neither a dominant line nor a prominent color.
„Tangram“ is the exact opposite (photo far top) or „Bambù“: in both cases there is practically no room for play because of the dominant diagonals.
„Mikado“ is somewhere in between: pivoting is possible within bounds.
„Anemone“ allows for a bit more play: its inlays are aligned in such a way that some of its elements continue in the neighboring tile. The optical effect is one of floating like a sea anemone on a reef, ergo the name.
A distinguishing factor of this motif is that there is no waste in production: each element has its own basic color, cutouts serve as inlays in another piece.
Fabrication of „Opus“ requires high skills in stone masonry. Inlays must be cut to an extreme precision to ensure that there are no unsightly seams. Also the different properties of the stone need to be considered when polishing the tiles.
24 marble and one quartzite, namely Azul Macaubas, are used. The stone originates from around the world.
And another particularity: „Mikado“, e.g. secures the veins running through the piece. The 2cm-thick tiles have 1cm deep cutouts – a most elaborate procedure but one with which the designer demonstrates his respect for nature’s whim at creating stone veins.
In total the collection boasts 5 motifs in a variety of 12 colors. The aim is to please every client’s taste. Raffaello Galiotto sees himself as an industrial designer: his works are not meant to be seen as creative dalliance. They are meant to be marketable.
(13.06.2014, USA: 05.13.2014)