Stone, the material of duration and memory

Numerically controlled processes and ancient manufacturing techniques meet to give life to objects of high aesthetic quality. The accessories, furnishings, and panels in natural stone designed by Martinelli Venezia.
“Thinking about the sustainability of a product in ethical terms, or trying to emphasize as an objective, the quality of the project – understood as a search for balance between the right shape, function, technology, and production – is a concept applicable to the entire design world.”
Studio Martinelli Venezia starts with this concept, seeking a continuous dialogue between tradition and local culture, properties of materials, and technical possibilities of production processes. Starting with an area of expertise, the territory between Milan and Palermo, industry, and ancient knowledge…

Founded in 2015 by architects Carolina Martinelli and Vittorio Venezia, the studio is the art director of Lithea, a Sicilian brand that modulates industrial design and ancient techniques and transforms precious materials like lava stone, pitchstone, black Portoro marble, the white of Carrara, the stone of Comiso, and the grey Tunis into texture, coverings, objects, and furnishing elements.
“Each time we face a new job, we ask ourselves first what we want to achieve. We like to push the boundaries when working on a certain material or production to generate new and unexpected shapes that produce a kind of surprise effect in those who look at them. However, the project often becomes only a pretext to tell the story of a place or an artisan or business “.
From the pencil of Martinelli Venezia, several fascinating projects were born between 2018 and 2020, such as the red decorations of Tarsie Geometriche, obtained by “embedding” the colored mastic in the surface of the lava stone of Etna.
The project reimagines traditional stone workings and inlay techniques, reinterpreting this ancient art through colored mastic used as filling instead of the other materials typically used in interlocking decorations. The collection also includes vases and stools.
Tracce is the modular wall covering in engraved stone whose signs refer to elements typical of the landscape, just as traces of memories. The 400x800x20 mm slabs are in Nero Marquinia marble in honor of Pantelleria, “perla nera” of the Mediterranean.

Le Maioliche di Pietra sono piastrelle modulari in pietra lavica, bianco Carrara, crema Tunisi dai motivi grafici tridimensionali assemblabili in molteplici composizioni. “Il progetto nasce dal ricordo di una piccola casa-museo di un collezionista di maioliche, nascosta in un palazzo settecentesco nel centro storico di Palermo. In quella casa, racchiuso nelle sue stanze, c’è tutto il Mediterraneo: una varietà simbolica e geografica che – attraverso forme, materiali, colori e tratti grafici – narra di provenienze e tradizioni diverse”.

Stone Majolica tiles are modular tiles in lava stone, white Carrara, cream Tunis with three-dimensional graphic motifs assembled in multiple compositions. “The project is born from the memory of a small house-museum of a collector of majolica, hidden in an eighteenth-century building in the historic center of Palermo. In that house, enclosed in its rooms, there is the whole Mediterranean: a symbolic and geographical variety that – through shapes, materials, colors and graphic traits – tells the story of different origins and traditions”.
Highly evocative works that speak of culture, inspiration, territories, and passion for matter.

By Sabrina Sciama

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