Fine craftsmanship, poetry, sustainability and a love of design are defining characteristics of Gumdesign and DiamArt. Two brands that have united in excellence to create a collection of exceptional quality: Tratti.The journey of exploration in design continues; a world that DiamArt knows and frequents in its many ongoing collaborations with professionals and studios. The design sector is complementary to the application potential of the micro diamond surfaces in which DiamArt originally chose to invest hard work and resources in order to create synergy.
Accompanying us on our journey is Laura Fiaschi and Gabriele Pardi of Gumdesign, with whom DiamArt has created a collection of Carrara marble vases named Tratti.
This interview encapsulates the distinctive characteristics of DiamArt: collaboration, research, elegance, luxury, magnificence, beauty, value, history, tradition, aesthetics, craftsmanship, technology and Made in Italy quality.
How did the collaboration between Gumdesign and DiamArt come about, and what is it based on?
Our collaboration with DiamArt arises from the magic of symbiosis. There was immediately great empathy between us, an extraordinary meeting of minds. A dialectic full of inspiration and ideas. There was instant understanding. The essence of DiamArt - creating value by revitalising a material with practically unlimited applications - bowled us over, because it's exactly what we believe in. This new collaboration is a continuation of our project La Casa di Pietra, which began in 2014, in other words before we came across DiamArt. The underlying approach of this project is to give new life to materials that have their own value but would die out if they were not reinvented. It’s perfectly in line with our basic philosophy: sustainability, recovery and the circular economy. And the logical consequence is our interest in DiamArt's micro diamond surfaces. It's a completely new material with exceptional value. A possibility that didn't exist previously, and now does. It seemed to be created specifically for our conception of design, both aesthetically and commercially.
Empathy, extraordinary vision, new life for objects: can you tell us more?
We like the idea of giving objects a second life. It's true that they're just things, but they’re things with a soul. Between object and owner there's an animistic relationship. They accompany our lives and remain as a trace of our existence; they're transmissible, becoming testimonies and portals of memory. The idea of creating an object by using precious stones brought back to life is an extremely innovative concept, and the fact that through these stones, the object itself can gain even greater value, was very exciting for us.
You believe in the concepts of sustainability, recovery and the circular economy, and you found these in DiamArt too.Of course: it's not a game, we have to change. Make less and make better. Sustainability and respect for the environment are made of concrete actions: recovery, conscientious production, the circular economy. All criteria that our shared project with DiamArt fulfils.
Let's talk about the objects you created: what are they?
They're vases in Carrara marble with extremely regular geometric sections inlaid with DiamArt micro diamond surfaces. It is this close relationship between marble and diamond that gives rise to the poetry and metaphor that underlies our creations. These diamonds, which were used to cut and engrave stone - the marble - now return to embellish it. It's like a fairytale with an unexpected happy ending. Two opposites coming together to create something new. They're marks of the soul. Marks or lines that withstand time, and this is the name we decided to give the collection: Tratti (marks). When it came to making them, there were many challenges which we addressed by inventing new solutions. It was a genuine training ground for ingenuity.
What kind of challenges?
Concerning the execution. Three companies were involved in the project: Gumdesign for the concept, creativity and design; DiamArt for the micro diamond surfaces and Marmi Sacco for the processing of the marble. Each of these played their part to obtain an extraordinary result. To give you a few examples of the difficulties: the cutting of the marble had to be geometric, regular and prepared for coating with the diamonds. So to make the sections as even as possible we had to come up with a new way of working the marble, with specific time periods and speeds, to achieve a recess that could house the strips of micro diamond surface. For its part, DiamArt had to find a way to anchor the micro diamond surfaces to a complex material like marble. It was a fusion of the souls of our two companies: human, industrial and artisan.
The project was shared at every stage of the process. How did the relationship between the philosophy and the production develop?
When there's a structured, solid and shared plan, everything falls into place thanks to an ongoing dialectic dialogue. DiamArt proved to be an absolutely excellent partner. It combines knowledge of the materials - both stone and precious gems - experience, inventiveness, incredible craftsmanship, technology and industry. The professionalism and openness of the DiamArt team was exemplary. Remember we're talking about a luxury product that's unique in the world and constantly developing.
Craftsmanship and industrial production: how do they come together?
Through concreteness. Although this is an intensely creative sector that combines technology, craftsmanship and natural materials, DiamArt always showed an exceptional ability to find solutions and create a pathway to achieve the end result. It's something that I would define as quintessentially Veneto in character, and in my view of enormous value: the culture of work, commitment and effort. Although we had a lot of fun too. And these two aspects also come together in the small scale of production, which itself impacts the value of the object. This is another thing that's shared by Gumdesign and DiamArt: the technology and production processes are industrial, in the sense that they're repeatable, but the care and creativeness are artisanal, in that they use unique materials and therefore - bearing in mind that the objects are of high value - are not mass-produced. The true significance of the project is its quality: these are objects destined to last and retain their value. Soul and technology in action.
Will you design with DiamArt again?
We can't wait. The material is magical; there's something unfathomable in our relationship with it. The particles communicate and cross-fertilise, becoming a whole and creating something "other" that didn't exist before. We want to metaphorically immerse ourselves in micro diamond, play with it and be inspired. We'd like to juxtapose it with something completely different, new and unexpected. We want to get carried away and dream with the material. And then make the dream a reality.
What have you taken away from this experience?
A marvellous legacy. Innovating within Italian tradition is possible. Constructing a narrative that brings excellent ingredients together is within our reach: we've proved that with this project. Combining Carrara marble and diamonds was unthinkable until recently, but now they coexist in an exquisite and precious vase. We have unparalleled richness and potential, which need to be combined with humility and expertise, but which can give us so much. Experience, research, history, tradition. It's a book that tells a magnificent story, the story of our country, whether it's the 15th century or the present day. We're proud to be part of it.
Discover the "Tratti" Collection: http://www.gumdesign.it/gum/sezioni/store_tratti.html