In Focus: Aurisina marbles.
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
A glimpse into the Italian grey marbles of Aurisina.
A bit of context
Aurisina marbles are grey natural stones quarried from the Karst, a plateau overlooking the city of Trieste, located in the North East of Italy on the northernmost point of the Mediterranean Sea.
From a scientific standpoint, these are geologically classified as "limestones", though, in light of their hardness, industry professionals commercially define them as "marbles" to distinguish them from "soft limestones", highlighting the fact that they can be processed and used the same way of what, strictly speaking, is called "marble".
At the moment of writing this post, the main varieties of Aurisina marbles that we quarry are:
* the following images are only to give a general idea about colour and veining
Aurisina marbles come from an open-pit quarry whose benches are identified by means of diamond wire cuts and then tipped.
At the time of writing the present post, our quarrying takes place on three different levels:
- the lower for Aurisina Chiara Fioritello
- the middle for Aurisina Lumachella
- the upper for Aurisina Fiorita
When hitting the ground, these benches break into unshaped blocks of stone that "follow" the natural cracks that run through the quarry. At this stage, we cut them into blocks.
Once cut using wire or chain cutter machines, we obtain squared raw blocks of various sizes.
This is the first marketable product of Aurisina marble.
Normally, our blocks are squared off by ensuring the highest possible degree of colour and pattern consistency.
At this point, we can cut blocks into slabs that are characterised by a:
- thickness (two and three centimetres are the most common)
- size (given by the product of the length and the height of the block)
- finish (sawn cut, polished, honed, brushed, bush-hammered, sandblasted and many more).
Eventually, we can produce tiles, also known as cut-to-size, by cutting slabs or blocks.
These are characterised by a thickness, a finish and a size (the last one can either correspond to one of the several standards or be custom).
In most cases, this is the final marketable product of Aurisina marble, ready to install.
Aurisina marbles can be used both indoor and outdoor for projects in architecture and design as well as furniture items, scultpures and other decorative elements.
In light of the hardness of such stones, their surface can be processed in a variety of finishes to achieve different aesthetic goals and match other materials.
Do you want to explore the possibilities offered by Aurisina marbles further?
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- Herz, N & Waelkens, M 1988, Classical Marble: Geochemistry, Technology, Trade, Nato ASI Series, Series E, Vol. 153, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands.