Before you go and look for that perfect slab of carrara or Calacatta in Sydney, you should know the history and tradition that surrounds this material.
The history of the Italian marble industry is one of many chapters, as it has gone through years of growth and tumultuous change. The marble industry can be traced back to as early as the Roman Empire, where Carrara Marble was the stone of choice. Even to this day Carrara Marble is the most commonly used Italian marble. The first building that was constructed and paid by the state in full marble was the “Temple of Jupiter Stator”, a temple dedicated to a roman god, in 146 B.C
Marble was used at various points throughout the empire with local stones and marbles also used depending on the region and scale of the project. This was in part because of the time and labour costs to move the marble across the empire.
The use of marble did not become prolific however until the Italian renaissance early in the 16th century, with artists like Michelangelo, Donatello and Canova using the very popular, Carrara Marble in many of their various projects, which were typically sculpting with the stone.
Most of Italy’s quarries can be located within the region that is known as Carrara Valley, also known as the “province of Massa Carrara.” There are a many stones that are sourced in this region, including marbles like Carrara, Arabescato and of course the highly prized Calacatta Marble.
It was difficult for the Italians to build a large worldwide trade of marble. Due to the labour intensive process of extracting the marble that dated back to when the romans were exploiting sheer manpower to achieve this. The introduction of black powder and other explosives in the 18th century greatly decreased labour demands and time required to extract stone. The ultimate revolution in extracting stone was the introduction of the wire cutter and diamond chainsaw. Not to mention the introduction of roads and railway networks allowed the marble to be quickly transported and thus the beginning of the now dominant Italian marble industry.
Today the Italian Marble industry is responsible for millions of jobs worldwide and is concentrated in the province of Verona where hundreds of companies quarry and extract stone and are committed to providing some of the world’s most desirable Marble slabs. Italy is also known as the gold standard for the processing quality in the world. With machinery and processing innovation that continue to provide the world’s highest quality of Marble slabs.
For this reason, Avant Stone sources its wide range of Carrara and Calacatta Marble Slabs from Italy. We recommend anyone looking for white marble to come view our centrally located gallery to see the most exclusive range of Calacatta Marble in Sydney. Avant Stone prides itself in holding a wide range of Carrara and Calacatta marble slabs in Sydney at every price point.
The author is an experienced marble slab supplier in Sydney who has written many articles on marble, Quartzite & granite slabs. To find out more about natural stone slabs, visit www.avantstone.com.au
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