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Update on the venerable art of chiseling marble

It would be silly to mention the inventor of hammer and chisel whenever works by Michaelangelo are being discussed. Sometimes, though, a reference might be appropriate, e.g. with reference to the project „Design & Technology“ unveiled at the 2014 Marmomacc: here the Italian industrial designer Raffaello Galiotto got together with manufacturers of machines and tools with the aim of widening the horizons of the branch.

Of course, natural stone producers who must test new developments also play an important role in the project. More precisely: the CEO’s and employees whom Galiotto motivated to jump on the boat.

Raffaello Galiotto: „Cora”. In this work the stone takes on the appearance of an organic material, full of cavities and curved and twisted tunnels, confronting a particular problem:  curved drilling. The problem was solved by using a cutter with C-axis control and using a tool with a ball head and thin shaft. The drilling path was made by checking that the thin shaft of the tool does not collide with the wall. In this way a first 90° curved cavity was obtained which, joined to a second, extended the hole up to 180°. Produced by Kienesberger Steinmetzmeister, Schlüßlberg, Austria; material bretonstone® by Santa Margherita. Volargne (VR), Italy; machine by Breton, Castello di Godego (TV), Italy; model machine: ShapeMill; tools by Adi, Thiene (VI), Italy.

Take, for example, „Cora“.

Raffaello Galiotto: „Evo”. This is the result of partial, circular and concentric cuts made by an inclined diamond disk. Its complexity resides in managing the notch cut by the bulk of the disk along its path which, unlike traditional cuts with constant thicknesses, has cutting cross-sections that differ in function of the given path. Produced by Anzilotti, Pescia (PT), Italy; material: Carrara marble; machine by Denver, Gualdicciolo, Rep. San Marino; model machine: Quota stone 3350/4200.

In the case of „Evo“ the Carrara-Marble was worked by means of a diamond saw. Note the diagonal ridges which were not intentional according to Galiotto.

This would be a good time to philosophize on the influence of machinery and tools on the final product. The phenomenon of the „glitch“ is well known from the world of electronics – a temporary bug in the system which seemingly comes and goes at a whim. NASA’s Apollo Space Program was a case in point, in which such glitches were often the source of considerable stress for technicians.

Was a glitch responsible for the unexpected traces in the material?

Remember that Michaelangelo claimed that he merely freed a figure from the restraints of the stone from which it ensued, having been concealed there all the time.

Raffaello Galiotto Industrial Design

Photos: Raffaello Galiotto

Raffaello Galiotto: „Crio”. The classic grooved column is reinterpreted by processing by a diamond disk and milling lathe. The disk sinks into the marble following paths that are not parallel to the cutting axis. In this way it models the material and brushes the surface, generating complex and deep forms with a high degree of finish. Produced by Odone Angelo, Vercelli, Italy; material: Bianco Carrara marble by GBC Marmi, Pietrasanta (LU), Italy; machine by Breton, Castello di Godego (TV), Italy; model machine: ShapeMill.Raffaello Galiotto: „Spira” is a kind of column composed by stacking deformed and tapered disks. The particular delicacy of the edges combined with the depth of the cavity was obtained by processing with a diamond disk cutter. After an initial roughing phase the disk executed a series of circular paths with an inclination varying from 0 to 20°. The sinuous and polished surfaces of the work were obtained thanks to this „flickering” effect. Produced by Serafini Marmi, Chiampo (VI), Italy; material: Chiampo Paglierino; machine by Gmm, Gravellona Toce (VB), Italy; model machine: Zeda 39 CNC.Raffaello Galiotto: „Rhinoceros”. The ancient engraving by Albrecht Durer in 1515 inspired this work. Just as the manual straight, curved or geometric hatches delineate the two-dimensional figure so does the cutter sculpt the mass and draw the surface. The graphic texture is first digital, using software, and then material by passage of the cutting tool. It becomes the characteristic feature of the work itself, entirely „machine-made”. Produced by Citco, Rivoli Veronese (VR), Italy; material: Grigio Bardiglio; machine by Donatoni Macchine, Domegliara (VR), Italy; model machine: Quadrix DG 2000.Raffaello Galiotto: „Catenata”, „Corallo”, „Corona”, „Madrepora”, „Porifera”, „Serpentina”. These small marble objects are made exclusively using 3D waterjet abrasive cutting technology. The particularity of these works lies in the complexity of their forms, obtained by following appropriate computer created cutting paths. The machine, thanks to these inclined, incident, multiple and overlapping cuts, is able to produce unexpected curved and perforated three-dimensional solids. Each of these small works investigates and expresses a different geometric problem that is inextricably linked to the specific technology of waterjet cutting. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy; machine by Flow, Bretten, Germany; model machine: Flow Mach3 4020 DynamicXD - Flow Hyperjet Ultra High pressure PumpRaffaello Galiotto: „Catenata”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto: „Corona”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto: „Serpentina”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto: „Porifera”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto: „Madrepora”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto: „Corallo”. Produced by Budri, Mirandola (MO), Italy.Raffaello Galiotto.(10.11.2014, USA: 11.10.2014)