Carrara Marble Quarry

Builders Turn to Carrara Marble Quarry

The Carrara mountains in Italy have been producing beautiful white marble since antiquity. In modern times, they produce the most volume of marble in the world

Read the article below for an insight into how Italy’s Carrara Marble Quarry is standing now and still one of the most desirable choices of stone.

Browse our range of Carrara marble.

 


Builders Turn to Italy’s White Gold

There is no end to demand for ‘Italy’s white gold.’

For many people, that white gold is not metal but marble from the town of Carrara in Tuscany. The marble mining work in Carrara is ancient. Workers first began removing stone from the mountains of Tuscany more than 2,000 years ago.

The ancient Romans were the first to recognize the beauty of the marble. Millions of people still go to Rome to see famous monuments made with the stone. Two examples are the Pantheon and Trajan’s Column. And then there are famous statues like the David and the Pietà by the sculptor and painter Michelangelo.

So what is happening in Carrara today?

A visit to modern day Carrara

Sculptors, other artists and designers of buildings have never stopped making trips to the Tuscan town.

M.J. Anderson, an American, first visited Carrara 36 years ago, when she started creating sculptures. She loved the look of the beautiful stone.

Anderson says she likes to take things apart. “The great thing about carving marble is that once that stone is gone, it’s gone. You can’t lament about it and this keeps you moving forward in the creative process,” she said.

Sculptors like Anderson know they are dealing with something very special.

“There’s no surprises when you are carving it. The molecules are put together very well and there’s so many different kinds of marble here. That’s what’s so special.”

That is what is bringing in orders and big money from all over the world. Carrara’s marble is in great demand in the Arab world and in countries like China, India and Thailand. Buyers want the material to use in the rooms and floors of their homes. Others want art made of the stone. For example, a few years ago, a request came for a huge block of marble to be used in a massive statue of Buddha.

An increase in the building of mosques and Islamic centres, especially in the Arab world, has meant even more demand and big business for some marble companies.

The Saudi Binladin Group, one of the world’s largest builders, got control of 50 percent of Marmi Carrara in recent years. Marmi Carrara owns a third of the marble quarries that are operational in the area today.

“Just the name Carrara basically says it’s the world’s best marble. It is the most beautiful. It has a centuries’ long history of being the best marble in the world and people come here looking for and wanting the very best,” Anderson said.

Read the full article here.

Marble and Wood kitchen designs
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Marble Kitchens & Bathrooms- The Best of by Vogue Magazine

Marble Kitchens & Bathrooms

Leaders of the fashion world, Vogue Magazine, pays homage to a mutually-loved material – marble. Here is a selection of their favourite marble kitchens and bathrooms.


This is living proof that marble adds an immediate luxe touch to any home.

Here at Vogue Living, we’re lucky to see a lot of amazing and incredibly inspiring homes. And while every home holds its own uniqueness, after a while you’ll notice a few elements that all beautiful homes share. Sure, an eye for great furniture design and chic colour combinations helps, but there are other more, shall we say, material matters that make up a VL-worthy home.

We’re talking, of course, about marble. Based on the sheer prevalence of marble in many of the homes we shoot or feature in VL, we have well and truly noted the unmistakable appeal of this luxurious looking finish. While its cool aesthetic and tactile appeal is obvious to any eye, we love the way you can use various colours to accent your home – most commonly in places like the kitchen and bathroom. Seen on bench tops, splashbacks and kitchen tables, the beauty of marble means you can use it in myriad ways to create a sense of decadence and luxury to your home kitchen.

So, in honour of our enduring love for the most opulent, yet hard wearing of materials, we give you 15 of our favourite marble kitchens.


House tour: a light-filled Sydney harbourside home

“The use of marble and handmade tiles complement brass, so the overall feeling is of natural, timeless materials.”

 

 

House tour: inside a fashion blogger’s beachside home

“Timber stools mismatch with the light timber flooring and subtly contrast against the marble kitchen island.”

Beachside apartment, Sydney. Photographer: Felix Forest | Stylist: Decus Interiors

Inside Claudia Schiffer’s English mansion

Shop this look at VSG. We suggest Damasca.

House tour: a spacious and modern bayside Melbourne home

“Additionally, use of oak timber boards, natural stone (honed Carrara marble), textured carpets and subdued tones encourage a sense of warmth and ambience throughout the family home.”

“The open-plan living space features custom-designed marble fireplaces, black steel windows and cement rendered walls.” 

Shop this look at VSG with our Carrara range.

House tour: the Surry Hills apartment redefining small space decorating

Shop this look at VSG with Arasbecato Corchia.

House tour: an Art Deco-inspired beachside home in Sydney’s Coogee

Shop this look at VSG with Arasbecato Don.

Shop this look at VSG with Negresco.

Read Vogue Living‘s full article on the stunning usage of marble kitchens and homes here.


 

Chris from Nova Stone, representing one of many Brazilian stone companies at the Atlanta Trade Show

Brazilian Stone ‘Rocks’ Another Big Trade Show in Atlanta

Great news for the Brazilian stone industry! Companies from all over Brazil made a large presence at the largest stone event in North America yet again.

Amongst over 70 Brazilian companies and their representatives, was our director Chris van der Linden heading the Nova Stone stand.  Here’s what he had to say about the ever successful trade show of the year, highlighting the Brazilian stone industry:

“Our company Nova Stone received such an overwhelming reaction to our collection of natural stone. It is clear that the entire global market, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, is experiencing a resurgence in natural stone.

The trends for 2019 are definitely forecast towards naturally inspired interiors. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing a lot more Brazilian stones in homes reaching as far as Australia and New Zealand.”

At VSG, our stock of Brazilian stone comes in the form of beautiful Quartzite slabs. Quartzite has a marble-look but is as resilient as granite, making it perfect for a low-maintenance, affordable option for kitchen benchtops, islands and bathrooms.  Browse our Quartzite page for an idea of whats in store and whats to come.

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

For any queries on Brazilian stone that you can’t, but want to see in Melbourne – contact us! We strive to source and supply the best natural stone material to Melbourne.

Read more on the Atlanta trade show in the article below sourced from Global Atlanta.


Major events in Atlanta are becoming a key entree for Brazilian companies in the U.S.

 Coming off its successful presence at the poultry and processing expo in January, Brazil last week once again made a big bet on a major Atlanta trade show.

This time, rather than chicken feed and animal proteins, the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta was helping firms showcase their stone products at the annual Coverings conference, the largest tile and stone event in North America.

More than 70 Brazilian companies showcased more than 700 types of natural stone materials at the May 8-11 trade show, which  drew  exhibitors from more than 40 countries. 

Brazilian firms enjoyed more than 15,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to their country which presented products under one brand umbrella: Brasil Original Stones. Brazilian government agencies were on hand as well: Apex-Brasil promotes the country’s exports in general, while ABIROCHAS is the tile and stone industry association. 

A highly visible presence at the industry’s top event was a no-brainer for Brazil, in part because Brazil’s stone sellers need to understand the preferences of designers, architects, consumers and contractors in a vitally important market. 

This is how the Reinaldo Dantas Sampaio, the president of ABIROCHAS, the Brazilian Association of Dimension Stone Industry, put it in materials written for the show: 

“The event is of fundamental importance for the Brazilian stone industry, since it gathers the major global covering producers and receives visitors from our biggest buyer – the US. Presently, Brazil is the largest supplier of slabs to the American market, which answers for 65 percent of the Brazilian stone export sales. In 2017, Brazilian exported US$1.1 billion, of which $692 million were imported by the U.S.”

Mr. Sampaio said despite the hurdles facing Brazil’s economy, producers are investing in quarrying and treatment technologies to improve sustainability and meet the standards of the U.S., which is experiencing a new wave of construction growth.  

Brazilian slabs are mostly used in countertops for single-family homes, so Mr. Sampaio sees a big opportunity for Brazil to deepen its penetration in the commercial and multi-family segments. 


Marble withstands storm at Taj Mahal complex

Marble Withstands Storm at Taj Mahal

Want to use marble outdoors, but worried how marble withstands storm and other weather conditions?

Yahoo.com  reports on two ancient pillars sadly being destroyed by the storm just days ago. Meanwhile, four white marble minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal survived the violent winds. Yet again standing against the test of time.


Violent winds topple stone pillars at Taj Mahal complex

Agra (India) (AFP). A violent storm has destroyed two ancient pillars at the entryways to the Taj Mahal, an official said Thursday. Underscoring the fragility of the centuries-old marble monument to love.

The four-metre high sandstone minarets topped by ornate spires were left in chunks after being felled by strong winds late Wednesday.

“Two decorative pillars collapsed last night amid high-velocity winds. One of the pillars stood at the royal gate. The other at the southern gate.” an official from the Archaeological Survey of India told AFP.

None of the four white marble minarets surrounding the Taj — or the spectacular shimmering mausoleum itself — were damaged in the storm, authorities said.

Tourists often get their first glimpse of the Taj — a UNESCO world heritage site — through the royal gate, a grand fortress-like entrance made largely of red sandstone. It was flanked by two imposing minarets before the storm brought one crashing down.

Footage showed the stone pillars lying in large broken pieces. The distinct spire is still intact but separated cleanly from the shaft. Nobody was injured by the falling steeples, authorities said.

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.

The Taj is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. Beset by problems from air pollution yellowing the marble to insects leaving green stains on its rear wall.

Efforts to restore its grandeur have dragged into a fourth year, with scaffolding marring the view for the 10,000-plus tourists that visit the 17th-century mausoleum every day.

Work is yet to begin on its main dome, with authorities concerned about how to proceed with handling the fragile centrepiece.

The Taj has attracted world leaders and royalty, including former US President Bill Clinton. Diana, the late British princess, was famously photographed alone on a marble seat there in 1992.


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New Marble Arrivals at VSG

We have new marble arrivals and our warehouse is filling up quick! After just over a year here in Melbourne’s South East, we are about half way to full capacity of beautiful large format natural stone slabs. We love getting new shipments and arranging the new slabs in our gallery. Our most recent shipments have been of white marbles that are absolutely gorgeous. There’s nothing like seeing it in the flesh, so get in touch to make an appointment. In the meantime, here are some slab photos for you to enjoy.

Statuario Marble

A premium grade white marble from the famous Carrara region in Italy.

"Slab

Venatino Marble

Venatino is a very popular white and grey marble from Carrara. It is a super affordable Carrara marble, so is commonly used for domestic and commercial applications.

White and grey marble available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Venatino slab 2018

Elba Marble

Elba marble is a white and bluey-grey Greek marble, very popular in the Melbourne market. We have beautiful, clean, large slabs, 3 metres by 2 metres!

Slab of Elba Marble available at Victoria Stone Gallery

For more information on these, or any other of our stones just get in touch.

– The team at Victoria Stone Gallery.


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Fantasy Brown close up
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Is Fantasy Brown a Marble or Quartzite?

Fantasy Brown has just arrived at Victoria Stone Gallery! But there’s a bit of speculation over what sort of natural stone it is. Is it a Marble or a Quartzite? Long answer short, it’s a hard marble that performs like a Quartzite. This article that we came across today talks the science and formation behind this peculair stone, and discusses in detail whether Fantasy Brown is a Marble or Quartzite.


There are thousands of natural stones available in the world right now. But every now and then there comes a granite, marble, or quartzite that we just can’t get enough of, we get regular calls about, and homeowners simply must have.

Fantasy Brown is one of those stones. Cool gray waves and smooth swirls tumbling diagonally across the slab, stunning mineral formations, and the faintest hues of green and rose make this a truly unique stone. But what is it? Is it quartzite as so many fabricators label it or are the suppliers who categorize it as marble correct?

“It mostly does perform like a quartzite or a granite. It’s a great stone. Geologically it does have some calcium carbonate & thus is a marble. A very hard marble. Even so, we have never noticed it etch, but since there’s some calcium carbonate we called it what it is – marble (just in case).” – Jeff @ Architectural Granite and Marble, Ltd. (AG&M)

The answer is a little complicated. Most broad stone types like marble or granite include a wide variety of different mineral compositions. Some marbles are much harder than others, and the same goes for quartzite. So, the precise geological term for a stone is not always a guarantee of how the stone will last or stand up to normal wear and tear.

Technically Fantasy Brown is a Marble, but There’s More to the Story

Geologically speaking, it contains the mineral calcium carbonate, which is a defining feature of marble. However, it’s an extremely hard marble with a very low risk of etching or staining. In other words, it behaves like a quartzite.

“Because we can’t expect our clients to know the finer details of how each individual stone will perform in the kitchen, we classify them according to durability. That means that in our showroom, you will see Fantasy Brown labeled as a quartzite.” – Kasey King | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

Fantasy Brown Quartzite is a durable, reliable countertop choice. With proper sealing once to twice a year, you won’t have to worry about etching or staining. Quartzite is scratch resistant, but we don’t recommend cutting on your natural stone, as it will dull your knives!

Fantasy Brown

Actual photo of Fantasy Brown slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Marble vs. Quartzite? What’s the Difference?

Both are metamorphic stones. One of the three main types of rock (the other two are igneous, which includes granite, and sedimentary).

Marble is created when limestone is “recrystallized” through exposure to heat, pressure, and/or chemically-active liquids. These forces change the composition of the stone, leaving behind an interlocking pattern of white crystals. The swirls and colors found in marble are technically impurities. They occur when clay, sand, iron, and other materials find their way into the metamorphosing limestone.

“Marble is softer than granite and quartzite, which makes it more susceptible to scratches over time. The calcium in the stone means it may etch when exposed to acidic liquids like lemon or vinegar.” – Lauren Little Rhodes | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

“The stone is what I call a “combo stone”. It’s a combination of quartzite minerals and calcite. alcite being a soft mineral and quartzite being a hard one.  So this stone, depending on its density plus quartzite to calcite ratio, can be pretty darn durable but that durability will fluctuate with the ratio of quartzite to calcite in the slab. The more quartzite, the more durability. We have sold a lot of this material and have had rave reviews from customers on how much they love this stone. I think a lot of customer satisfaction comes with properly educating customers on the type of stone they are choosing and how to take care of it.” – Laura Bolen | OHM International, Nashville, TN

While marble comes from limestone, quartzite is created when those same “metamorphosing” forces of heat, pressure, and chemically-active liquids come into contact with sandstone. This difference is what gives quartzite its glassy surface. Quartzite can range from slightly harder than marble all the way to harder than granite.


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Pionara Pyeongchang marble art piece

Verde Imperiale Granite Comparable to Korean Art Piece

As soon as we saw this masterpiece it reminded us of our Granite stone slab, Verde Imperiale, popular for kitchen benchtops in Melbourne homes. Natural Stone truly is diverse.

Check out the article below from DesignBoom. A piece of art by Korean visual artist, Pionara!


artist captures winter olympic scenes in south korean marble

ahead of the winter olympics, set to commence in korea this year, visual artist pionara sees a unique opportunity of her own to provide an entry route into understanding the country. in a personal project exploring the games the artist evolves her fondness of working on natural materials and objects, sourcing marble unique to the hosting region in an attempt to better understanding the place that will be televised worldwide.

intending to find something unique about the county, pionara‘s work begins with her canvas – a beautiful stone (called ‘pyeongchang seok’ – seok means stone in korean). this marble, produced in the pyeongchang area of the gangwon province makes a backdrop from a series of complimentary grains. mixing pink, bluish grey, white and black, a sunset-kissed setting of snow and tricky terrain is imagined by the artist whose illustrative additions of figures depict scenes from the games itself.

Pionara’s canvas was Pyeongchang Seok. A marble produced in the Pyeongchang area of the Gangwon Province

Verde Imperiale Granite Slab

Verde Imperiale Granite slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Verde Imperiale is a unique, mixed-colour granite used for kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities and more. It has a sweeping diagonal effect, mixing greens, whites, pinks and a touch of orange.

pionara’s aim is to capture the dramatic moments that will be presented during february 9 to 25. so, in the beautiful patterns and swirls of pyeongchang marble, skiers run steep mountains, figure skaters show off beautiful performances, and bobsleigh slide down fast.

the artist was inspired by her research into the characteristics of the region.

This led to her discovery of the gangwon province being a valuable part of korea with regards to its resources. understanding that the rare mineral resources of the gangwon province account for %70 of korea this eventually led to the artist’s choice of canvas, symbolising the contribution of the region and its individuality.
Pionara Pyeongchang marble art piece 3
Source 
designboom.com, pionara.co.kr


 

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How to keep clean marble
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Clean Marble – 5 Easy DIY Tips

Dying for a marble benchtop but the thought of maintaining clean marble is daunting? Architectural Design share these Clever, household tips on how to keep that marble surface as beautiful as the day it was installed!


How to Clean Marble (Yes, There’s Hope for Those Stains!)

Caring for this beautiful material is as easy pie

The marble kitchen counter of your dreams (and Pinterest boards) is finally installed—but wait, there’s a catch: how to clean marble? Keeping marble countertops and tile clean is actually simpler than you’d think. But, as with maintaining any surface and most things in life, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Now there’s day-to-day marble cleaning and then there’s the kind of tactics you’ll need to employ if Uncle Pat puts the punch bowl on his head at dinner and spills Cabernet across the length of your beautiful, white marble island. You got this—here’s how to clean marble and make it stay that way.

Supplies You’ll Want to Keep on Hand

  • sealant of your choice (food-safe, if for use on a marble counter)
  • soap and water (for counters)
  • dust mop (for floors)
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • ammonia
  • liquid cleaner
  • #0000 steel wool

Hand cleaning black marble stone counter bar

How to Maintain and Clean Marble Surfaces

Know your marble. Think like the marble. Be the marble. Marble is more porous than other common countertop materials like engineered stone (sold often as simply “quartz”) or soapstone, so it can be prone to staining and etching (a.k.a light scratching or physical changes to the stone itself). You’ll want to clean and seal yours regularly. More on that below—and easy enough to do before you’ve had coffee, promise.

Prevention is key. Whatever marble you have in your home, sealing it every few months is a good idea. According to the Marble Institute, sealants don’t make the stone stain-proof but they do make it more stain resistant—giving you a bit more time to get to big spills. Check with whoever supplied your marble for their recommendations on the right products to use (and remember to make sure it’s food safe if you’re using it in the kitchen). For marble floors, coffee tables, and other high-traffic surfaces invest in some furniture pads and some coasters—better safe than sorry.

Daily cleaning. For routine maintenance and spills you catch quickly, warm, soapy water is the best for the job. Just make sure to rinse well, sop up any standing water, and thoroughly dry the surface. Also note that for marble, acid is kryptonite—so do your best to keep things like wine and lemon juice (or even cleaners that contain vinegar) away from the surface. And if they do spill, tend to them as quickly as possible. For marble floors, start with a dust mop; you want to avoid anything abrasive on the surface, and dirt and sand being dragged around by a vacuum could do more damage than you intend.

Getting out pesky stains. If you don’t catch a spill quickly (hello, red wine spilled at a lasts-until-2am dinner party), there’s hope. For most organic food stains, the Marble Institute recommends cleaning with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia; if you spilled anything oil-based, like a vinaigrette, and the stain has set, attack it (gently) with a liquid cleanser that contains “household detergent, mineral spirits, or acetone.”

Correcting etching. For water spots, light scratches, and nicks, try buffing your marble with dry #0000 steel wool. Anything deeper than surface level scratches will require a professional’s help. So if you left a lemon out on the counter and now it’s both etched and left a stain, go ahead and use the above recommendations for food stains to take care of the latter. Sadly, the etching will likely need to be polished by a professional—so be careful where you leave your cut lemons!


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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone
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Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite


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