At a display of the best artisans in Turin we met two young experts who had started a new business – Made in Lava – in the footsteps of an ancient tradition of stonecutting. Luca Scarantino and Sabrina Zibellini are a couple in both life and work and their story takes place in a village on the shores of Lake Vico, north of Rome.
The territory of Lazio is characterized by its volcanic nature on a vast scale that includes several lakes including Bolsena, which is probably the largest volcanic lake in Europe. That is why since ancient times, the Etruscans and the Romans made in lava from their Basalt and Peperino quarries in this area, some of which are still in operation and from which Luca and Sabrina source their stone. They chose the word Lava for their company as this represents all volcanic stone.
Luca is a ‘stonemason‘, and since 2003 he moved to this area because of its Peperino quarries. He wanted to become an architect, but during his studies in France, in a course of applied arts, in 1998, he learnt the art of “Stereotomy”, the techniques to cut stone – the forerunner of Made in Lava. At that moment he realized that the shaping of stone should be part of his life, and his attraction is renewed every time he is faced with a piece of volcanic rock or a block of marble.
Sabrina is originally from this area and after studying architecture; she decided to return to live here to make her profession in design.
What is ”MadeinLava”?
Luca explains that, since he met Sabrina, his laboratory has become more complete by adding design and innovation to what he was doing as a stonemason to create Made in Lava. Tradition is part of their story: the use of materials such as stone, wood and iron in architecture and design will always be part of man’s consciousness with nature.
Innovation is an interpretation of tradition: stone can put character into our environment by being used with a modern design, in a refined manner, simple and original, to revive the use of natural materials.
How do you relate to the environment?
‘The environment in which we live from birth welcomes us like a mother embraces her son, we are a part of the environment itself. Those who forget this can create irreparable damage for future generations.
We try to use local raw materials, and to create the least impact on the environment as possible in the choice of treatment for the wood, and we make an analysis of the energy balance for each of our products.’
Your company is composed of a stonemason and architect. What does it mean to live and work together?
‘It is madness! And for this reason we like it. The pragmatic nature and practicality of the artisan clashes with the theoretical and academic approach of the other, meeting and clashing constantly, reaching unexpected results.’
We talked about them also on a discovery. Click here to read it.