Quarry Tour

I’m back home but still posting photos from my Italy visit. We packed a lot in for one month so I’ll keep posting until the stone gets here in late May.

On the Sunday preceding our last week at the studio we went on a Quarry Tour. Sunday is the best day to avoid sharing the tiny roads with giant trucks hauling stone. We drove up the mountain outside of Carrara and then the jeep took us up to the near-top of the mountain where we could see numerous quarries. The weather was clear and mild, a great day for being on the mountain.

We drove up this far and then the jeep took us up to that saddle section in the middle of this photo.

Going to the quarry is an opportunity to touch the origin of the stone; to see it where it came from, to appreciate all those centuries this marble sat in a mountain after is was formed. There’s so much history in these mountains, they’ve been quarrying stone since well before Michelangelo and the Renaissance.

Michael (our guide) explained the techniques and some of the current rules and restrictions governing the quarries. At the base there is a small outdoor museum with old equipment and photos that helps illuminate the history of the area and the dangerous work of quarrying marble.

I took hundreds of photos so please appreciate the restraint I’m showing by limiting my choices here. I’m not known for my restraint when it comes to stone (which you likely already know if you’re reading this blog.)

Looking out over multiple quarries to the Mediterranean Sea.
Perspective!
One of the old bridges (its in all the old photographs). This road will take you up to Colonnata.
The “back” side, looking inland. See how tiny the giant earth-moving machines look.
A huge block being carved by an automated machine. There are many places that are doing this now in the area, this studio was at the base of quarry that we toured.
What the sculptures look like after the computerized cutting. Still lots to do by hand. I have no idea whose studio this is.

Even if you’re not a stone sculptor, getting a chance to go on a tour and see a quarry is a pretty amazing thing. If you want more photos, I’ve added some here at the end.

Ciao!

Three happy sculptors. Still happy even though we didn’t get to keep the hardhats!
The “back” side of the mountain.

Blue sky, white marble, big smile! Thanks for the photo Tamara!

5 thoughts on “Quarry Tour

  • Thank you once again for all the photos and comments. I tried to say the same to your email but must have screwed up the address. Can’t wait to see you in a couple of months. Save a small rock for me!!

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  • Sue, thank you again. Your photos give me some perspective to the quarries. Amazing.

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S8, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone

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  • This gives me goose bumps, and I’m not even a sculptor. For me it would be like visiting the place where pigment came from. It’s like one degree of separation from Michelangelo. Or something like that.

    >

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