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The Artisan

Obsydian Stone: Creations of Raw Nature

Founded by entrepreneur Gesualdo Marrapodi, Obsydian Stone specializes in the processing of semi-precious stones to create unique artworks of rare beauty. Discover the story behind the brand and the main steps of gem working, from the sourcing to the transformation into precious pieces by the wise hands of expert Italian artisans.

Obsydian Stone was born in 2014 with the aim of transforming raw natural gems into artworks, enhancing the exclusive peculiarities of each stone to create unique piece. Realized by master gem cutters from Italy, each creation is made to unveil the inner beauty of the raw material, combining the concepts of “unique” and “precious” to reinvent everyday objects by adding an exclusive signature touch.

Fascinated by stones since childhood, entrepreneur Gesualdo Marrapodi established the brand following his mineralogy studies, and still today he selects the gems from the purest and rarest lots in the world, paying exceptional attention to the quality of each slab. Meet the founder and discover the story behind the brand.

Obsydian Stone was established in 2015, the fruit of your creativity and passion for the multifaceted world of semi-precious stones. Tell us how the brand was born and how it has evolved to date.

Obsydian specializes in the manufacturing of semi-precious stones to create exquisite architectural detailing. The atelier arose precisely out of the desire to branch out the material from the exclusively "classic" mold and use original obsidian stones in furniture or design projects. The resulting product captures the perfect combination with other materials - at times innovative, such as carbon fiber - thereby elevating the piece’s overall value. The brand’s growth, which slowed down only during the Covid pandemic, has also been possible thanks to the many design studios and furniture companies in the luxury sector that chose to entrust us to create something novel and unique.

Stone manufacturing is an exclusive process whereby each natural element is enhanced through complex techniques that produce one-of-a-kind objects with a mysterious appeal. Tell us more about the process of taking these minerals in their raw form and transforming them into design pieces.

Obsydian guarantees that all its materials are selected and identified through rigorous processes, to ensure sourcing from the purest and rarest lots in the world. The originality of Obsydian stones is not only conferred by the supply method of the raw material but, to a great extent, by the artistry through which these materials are transformed into Obsydian components, refined with extremely meticulous attention to detail. The quality of the Obsydian pieces according to the highest standards can only be guaranteed by the most experienced master craftsmen, whose workmanship is handed down from master to master like a secret recipe, with dedication and passion.

Each semi-precious stone is a unique item in itself and a universe of inimitable hues and colors. Is there one that you favor above all others? Why?

My favorite stone is unquestionably labradorite because it is one of the few stones that still manages to conjure special, powerful feelings every time I see it. The main quality of this beautiful material is the optical phenomenon known as "labradorescence", which appears like a sparkle of light blue, purple, green, yellow, and orange flashes. The effect is caused by the interference due to the presence of various laminar planes within the mineral, which causes the colors to constantly alternate and vary whenever the observer moves and changes their perspective. This stone is often manufactured with mosaic cut to best enhance its color gradients. Many stories are told about it, but the one that best conveys its peculiarities is the popular Eskimo legend, which has it that the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rock on the Labrador coast: a wandering Eskimo warrior freed with spear blows most of the light trapped in the rock, while those that remained formed Labradorite.

Craftsmanship is one of the cardinal values of Obsydian production. In your opinion, what is the direction of Italian craftsmanship in this field?

In order for Italian craftsmanship to continue to be valued worldwide, the path to follow would certainly be that of creating a well-balanced mix between craftsmanship - intended as manual workmanship - and modern materials, to be able to capture also the tastes of the new generations, without however missing at all the emotions that a handmade object with its uniqueness can transmit.

Using this type of stone for furniture and architectural details is unquestionably revolutionary and unprecedented in the Italian art scene. What added value do you think Obsydian's signature pieces have, both aesthetically and in terms of craftsmanship?

There is no doubt that the main added value is the fact that an already singular design becomes inimitable simply by using our material in a “sartorial” way, that is, by "sewing" it on our clients’ pieces. Moreover, because it’s naturally crafted, it lends itself greatly to countless applications or uses for both formal and emotional experiences, with mosaic cutting as an added value to the design. Just like diamonds, the Obsydian stone inserts can be mounted, becoming the precious detail that enhances any kind of surface. Such stones reach their highest radiance on vertical or horizontal mountings, where they create patterned geometries and elegant combinations of different materials. The special production process ensures the stone’s application on any rigid base, be it wood, metal, slate, or marble. It can also be used as an insert to embellish knobs, handles, or faucets. Applying the stones as wands, cabochons, and convex surfaces is also possible. There are no limits to the size of the projects, except for those with mosaic applications. Adding Obsydian stone detailing allows any project to be enhanced with an element that fully exploits some of the most exclusive natural peculiarities, such as iridescence and brightness. These characteristics make them pure, crucial elements that integrate harmoniously in any context, be it modern or classic, making the most of the singularity of each piece with each stone having its own history and radiance.

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