Artists and artisans in Pietrasanta – Marble
The sculptor Kyle Smith introduced me to artisans and artists in and around Pietrasanta. She showed me how to swing the hammer to accumulate force without exhausting myself when carving stone. I feel very fortunate to have so many meaningful encounters on this journey.
Some artisan families have been working in these parts since the Renaissance. Lately, they are consciously adapting by embracing new technology. While some still work in solitude, using the traditional hammer and chisel method, others have embraced “robots” (CNC gantry-cutting devices, introduced in 2009), seeing them as a portal to new possibilities. But the robots are not always faster or cheaper. Machine carving is mostly used to rough out the forms. Humans still touch up on the details and do all sanding by hand.