The beautiful imperfection of natural stone is something to celebrate
“A stone is ingrained with geological and historical memories”. – Andy Goldsworthy
Each piece of stone is unique. A document of the immense pressures and temperatures by which it was formed hundreds of millions of years ago, every block records a particular history of mineral deposits that coarse in veins through the dense mass of rock; a history of cracks and fissures that have been rent open and sealed, of the colouration that reveals each stone’s distinct chemical composition. In stone, we are reminded of the awesome power of the earth and of a timescale that dwarfs human existence.
For the British sculptor and land artist Andy Goldsworthy, this sense of history, evident in the unique imperfection of the natural world, has inspired work that sits in woods, on beaches or open moorland. These ephemeral site-specific artworks, using materials Goldsworthy finds in the environment around him, draw attention to the fleeting, unpredictable beauty of the natural world, arranging natural forms into ordered patterns and shapes that emphasises the idiosyncrasy of every stone, branch and leaf.
We have found that working with natural stone demands a similar humility and respect for the natural world. Appreciating the distinct personality of each piece of stone, rather than seeking out uniformity and repeatability, has been central to our approach since the company was founded. Using an intimate, practical understanding of the quarry, handed down through generations, we can extract the most beautiful stone and tailor the veining, patterning and colouration of a particular block to its end use.
Though we offer natural stone in a range of textures, these are specifically designed to enhance and emphasise the unique qualities of each block instead of creating a consistent, homogenous product. We prefer to take inspiration from how stone is found in nature – rather than ostentatious, highly-polished effects traditionally associated with natural stone we have developed discrete, matt finishes. Understated and respectful of the raw materials, these textures still allow the stone’s unique voice to be heard while enabling new possibilities for design.
Unlike any other surface and ornamentation, stone offers an authenticity and distinctiveness. Its infinite variability means that as a customer you know no-one else will have a product like yours, and this is true whether you are buying bathroom fixtures, tables and accessories, or if you are employing Salvatori’s bespoke services. For everything that Salvatori produces – from Elisa Ossino’s Urano light, a hollow sphere cut from one piece of marble, the Stone Tatami tiles designed by Piero Lissoni, or even the small marble cube used in Silvia Fanticelli’s towel racks – our experienced workers understand exactly which part of the stone to use to make the best use of the block’s patterning and colouration. Despite the sophisticated technology and cutting-edge, specialised machinery we have at our disposal, this is vital skill that can’t be mechanised.
Salvatori today has grown to become an international design brand, but a respect for the material on which the company was founded remains central to everything we do. While other stone brands look to standardise their production, at Salvatori we believe the beautiful imperfection of natural stone is something to celebrate. “Nature gives us the stone,” explains CEO Gabriele Salvatori. “Who are we to say one part is better than another. It is all beautiful.”