From the quarry to a natural stone work of art
Especially today, as consumers we often only have a vague idea of how certain things are actually created or manufactured. We buy packaged groceries, ready-made clothing items and complex smartphones that we just need to charge. Also in the context of natural stones, such as B. marble, the history of its origins and the manufacturing process is more of a mystery to many. How does such a wonderfully shiny piece of marble actually come about?
In this article we would like to take you on a journey from the quarry to the designer dining table.
The creation of natural stones
Natural stones are one of the oldest and most versatile building materials used by humans since the beginning of time. Whether for the construction of pyramids, conventional buildings, sculptures or jewelry - natural stones have been sought after for thousands of years due to their uniqueness, durability and beauty.
But how do these massive materials actually arise from nature? In order to understand this a little better, we would first like to return to the origin, the creation of a natural stone.
The formation of natural stones is a complex process that takes place over millions to billions of years. To put it simply, natural stones are formed by the solidification of sediments, as a product of magmatic processes or through the metamorphism of existing rocks.
Marble is an example of a natural stone that is formed through metamorphosis. Originally, the source rock for marble was limestone, which is converted into marble by enormous heat and pressure inside the earth. During this process, the minerals in the limestone are rearranged and form structures that give the marble its typical grain.
Quartzite, on the other hand, is created by the solidification and heating of sandstone. Grains of sand are pressed together by the pressure of overlying layers and exposed to high temperatures until they fuse to form quartz crystals that are translucent, such as: B. with ours Patagonia. The close connection between the crystals creates a very hard rock that is extremely resistant to wear.
Onyx, in turn, is an example of a stone that is formed by deposits (sediments). Onyx is formed by the deposition of calcium carbonate from water flowing through layers of rock. Over long periods of time, these deposits are layered, creating today's onyx. The colors and patterns in onyx vary depending on the minerals and other elements involved in its formation. An impressive example of an onyx is e.g. B. ours Green Onyx.
Overall, the creation of natural stone is a fascinating process that shows how nature works over millions of years to create these beautiful materials. Marble, quartzite and onyx are just a few examples of the variety of natural stones available to us. If you would like even more detailed information about onyx, marble or quartzite, we recommend our article “Marble, quartzite and onyx" to read.
And how do you ultimately mine such colossal masses of natural stone?
In the quarry – mining natural stone
Natural stones are mined in quarries that can be found in different mining regions around the world. Natural stones have been mined since ancient times, i.e. for thousands of years.
How did the ancient Egyptians mine the natural stone for their pyramids?
Quarries in Ancient Egypt – The eternal mystery of “pyramid building”
The Ancient Egyptians are known for their impressive pyramids, especially the pyramids at Giza, which were built from natural stones such as granite, limestone and basalt. The quarrying of natural stone was crucial to the construction of these massive structures.
How the pyramids were built around 4,500 years ago remains largely a mystery. It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians worked to mine natural stone in the quarries of Aswan and Tura. The workers, mostly slaves, used simple tools such as copper and bronze chisels to remove massive stones from the rocks. These stone blocks were then loaded onto ships and transported down the Nile.
Some of the heavier stones, like the granite for the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Cheops, may have been transported on wooden sledges as they were too heavy to be transported by boat, the theory goes. The slaves may have pulled sleds over wet sand surfaces to minimize frictional resistance. One can only imagine how complex and draining these construction projects were.
The exact method of mining natural stone in ancient times is still not fully known. There are no written records detailing the specific details of the mining techniques. Although most of the information on which speculation is based comes from archaeological finds, they still remain just theories.
What is clear, however, is that quarrying natural stone must have been an incredibly laborious process for the Ancient Egyptians. It required skill, strength and endurance to remove the massive stones from the rocks and transport them. It is not for nothing that the pyramids are the only surviving wonder of the seven wonders of the ancient world and are still one of the largest man-made structures in the world today. The fact that the pyramids are still standing today and are so well preserved speaks for the longevity of natural stone as a building material.
By the way: If you like the earthy and natural tones of the Egyptian pyramids, you are certainly a fan of ours too Natursteins Ivory Cream.
Today's mining methods in quarries
Nowadays Fortunately, there are many different methods of stone mining, which vary depending on the type of rock and geological conditions and are practiced under ethical principles.
One of the most common methods of stone mining is explosive mining. Explosives of various types are used to remove the rock from the rock. There are now also “silent” explosives that work on a chemical basis – the so-called swelling explosives. Natural stone mining is also possible without an explosion.
The exposed stones are finally cut even smaller using special machines and sorted. This method of quarrying is quick and effective, but also requires careful planning and execution to ensure that no damage is caused to the surrounding area (through noise or eruptions, for example). Not every quarry can work with every type of explosive. If e.g. B. If there are human settlements or certain animal species nearby, blasting with classic dynamite is often not permitted.
Another method is mining using mining machines that mechanically mine and break the rock. This method is often used for harder rock types such as granite or basalt. Again, careful planning and execution is required to ensure that the environment and the safety of workers are not compromised.
Regardless of the method of quarrying stone, quarries are now more environmentally friendly than ever before. Modern quarries use advanced technologies and strategies to minimize their impact on the environment. These include measures such as reforestation of cleared areas, erosion control, use of solar-powered excavators and recycling of water.
Modern quarries use advanced machinery and equipment to make work easier and minimize the ecological footprint. They rely on strict safety policies and training to ensure that all workers can work safely.
The final product – the processing of natural stone in the MAGNA studio
Natural stones such as marble, onyx and quartzite are wonderful natural materials for table tops due to their natural beauty, durability and versatility. We will therefore look at the different steps and methods of how the raw natural stone is processed into a table top.
The production of natural stone table tops begins with the selection of the raw material. After the natural stones are mined in the quarries and then cut into blocks, they are transported to our warehouses for further processing. There, the blocks are cut into thin plates, which are suitable for use in various applications, such as: B. suitable for table tops.
Once the former block has been cut into thinner natural stone slabs, also known as "slabs", the cutting continues with the water jet. Once the plate has been cut to the correct dimensions, the plate can now be polished. The surface of the natural stone is ground and polished using diamond tools to achieve a smooth and shiny finish. Depending on how many times the plate has been polished, different finishes can be achieved, ranging from matte to satin to high gloss. There is also the option of special edge profiles to grindto create a special aesthetic.
Another method of processing natural stone is cutting slabs into smaller pieces, which are then joined together to form a table top - this is called the mosaic technique. This technique creates interesting patterns and designs.
And why is natural stone such an environmentally friendly product?
Why natural stones are sustainable
Natural stones are a particularly environmentally friendly material because they are made from natural resources and no energy is required to process them. They are a renewable material mined from the earth and there are no harmful emissions or waste created in the production of natural stone products.
Natural stones are also durable and can last for centuries, if not thousands of years. Natural stones are a material that gains character and retains its value over time.
Another factor that makes natural stones an environmentally friendly material is the possibility of recycling them. After a natural stone table top has reached its useful life, it can be recycled and reused as material for other projects. If a table goes out of fashion, a table with a natural stone top does not have to be thrown away, but can be made modern again with a new frame, keyword “upcycling”.
Overall, natural stone tabletops are a great choice for those looking for durable, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly furniture for their home. The unique pieces from the MAGNA studio are heirloom quality and are made locally. We also compare the CO₂ emissions of every order with our partner Greenspark out of.
Natural stones are an excellent way to enhance the atmosphere of your living space without harming the environment or contributing to mass consumption.
Discover all of ours now Unique pieces made from real natural stones.