Stone is much more than a construction material. It has always been used by artists as a creative medium. Some of humanity’s oldest creations are built of it: ancient monuments, pyramids, castles, temples,… It has exceptional qualities. It can be hard and sharp, sleek and gentle, warm, snow-white, sea-coloured, but it never fails to be magnificent, unique and timeless. It requires expert knowledge and surgical precision. The special skills required to shape the stone is mastered only by trained masters.

It is of utmost importance that in this fast evolving industry the company has the most modern technology. A variety of machines with exceptional power, speed and accuracy have a crucial role in changing the rock to a finished product – well almost. Skilful hands of stonecutters have no substitute. The smallest and consequently the most important details can only be done by hand. At Marmor Hotavlje they say ‘’Only with hands you can either rectify the mistakes or ruin the work of machines. Whatever the case, we need this human factor to show the passion between the stone and an artisan.’’ With their products, they want to transform this mentality to their clients and through the story help them understand that by coming in touch with stone, a person can feel millions of years passing by.

The interior of the quarry where they cut their famous Hotavlje marble

After the stone has been selected and approved by the client, the initial phase of the process begins. Cutting the stone into smaller pieces may be the easiest part of the production but at the same time, it can be very unpredictable. The exterior part of the block may have a certain colour structure with specific vein direction, but when cutting the stone, the story can change for better or for worse inside of the block. Hotavlje marble for instance, has this special colour variation that passes from light to dark grey and has all these special mixtures such as white, green, pink or reddish. It is never entirely clear what will happen once the block is being cut but through years and years of dealing with this type of stone, the stonecutters of Marmor Hotavlje have become one with the stone.
That is why in the case of the unique sculpture designed by Charles Trevelyan, it was known what was expected from the designer and they had no troubles sourcing the right part of the stone. Having said that, it was crucial to inspect each and every part of the piece assigned for the project in order to eliminate the possibilities of the cracks. The purpose of templating is to get the best out of the stone and present it to the author of the story for his approval.

Templating in action with the surroundings of the company in the background. Marmor Hotavlje has always proud itself for its strong eco environment and awareness towards pollution and water

The drawings of the designer are transformed by a team of technologists for production purposes. They have to prepare precise instructions for the stonemasons in the workshops and monitor every part of the process. The way the company works is that they design a team for the specific project, which means that the project manager, coordinator and production manager with the help of individuals from calculation and purchasing department have weekly or daily meetings discussing the progress, obstacles and consequently solutions in the benefit of both company and most importantly – the client.
Shaping the stone from its initial phase is a task for a CNC machine. The administrators responsible for the project have to prepare the program based on the drawings and instructions received from the project coordinator. When the machine does its work, it is necessary to carefully inspect every move of the machine and report the progress to the superiors.

Careful inspection of the angles in order to achieve the perfection expected by the client

Once the CNC machine shapes the sculpture, the artisans start working on the details and the final treatment of the sculpture

Marmor Hotavlje goes by one rule: Nothing leaves their workshop without a traditional stonemasonry hand repairment. There are some, more standard products that do not require lots of working hours on the hand finishing part, but there are others – like the sculpture of Hotavlje marble where this part is the most important one. Not only do the artisans behind these projects have a technical capability to produce them, moreover, they are passionately connected with the stone and see things other people cannot.

The sculpture contains three individual parts that come together as one - like a puzzle

People at Marmor Hotavlje always say that since the early beginnings they have seen something more in the stone and they see themselves as the custodians of one of the oldest materials in the world. In addition, the famous sentence goes ‘’We are the tool in the hands of artists’’ and while the final pieces have an elegant simplicity to them, there is a complexity of manufacture and attention to detail required that the artist behind this project, Charles Trevelyan, relies on Marmor Hotavlje’s skilled technicians and stonemasons to provide for him.

The unique, one of a kind fuse tables exhibited in Carpenters Workshop gallery in New York

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