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The story of the pietra ollare stone comes to us through the dim mist of time.

As w i th the ever-dwindling supply in Valchiavennna mountainsides - the hard facts and figures on this highly ellusive and mysterious stone - are far from easy to glean. Having weighed a finely fashioned or an unworked stone in your hands you will be drawn to want to know more about a remarkable material - once greatly-prized for its many varied uses. Modern-day research brings to light some of the stones well kept secret s.
Pietra ollare as a number of given names. In-and-around Valchiavenna, where the last mines are, the material is known as "the green stone of Chiavenna" (pietra verde di Chiavenna). Among geologist, who trace its use back to the bronze age, the term talco schist is often bandied. For other conoscenti it is "The pot-stone" pure and simple. Pietra ollare is a fine-grained stone, grey in colour with green tinges. Black and white veins course through it. Easy familiarity should be avoided when handling the stone. A solid weight and look belies fragility. As such, the stone can frustrate the skills of even the best craftsmen stiving to fashion items from it. It is said near a quarter of objects worked on a re abandoned. It seems a large measure of pure luck is also needed for crafting. For the collector, however, the potentially luckless proceedure has a deal of merit - because every mishap increases the rarity value of all surviving objects.

For many centuries Piuro in Valchiavenna was the centre for the mining and crafting of pietra ollare. As the stone was principally used for making pots for cooking (laveggi) and jars for conserving foods it was no long before news of its versatile domesti c use spread through Europe. During the 15th century, when the import of ceramics from Africa became more difficult due to the wars in the mediterranean, the trade in pietra ollare flourished and it had its hey-day. The pietra ollare trade was all but wiped out in a single devastating incident. On September 4 1618, a massive rockfall came down Monte Conte forcing a swathe of destruction in its path. The avalanche engulfed the town of Piuro and buried it. Only parts o f the environs escaped the death blow. The landslide left almost a thousand dead and an important industry in ruins.

For several centuries the stone was highly favoured by the noble and merchant classes for the ornamenting and embellishing of mansions. It was esteemed and displayed in the palaces of the courts of europe. The masons skill with the stone can be viewed at the palazzo Vertemate-Franchi in Piuro. The Palazzo is open to visitors. In recent years a revival in the pietra ollare craft has come about. This has mainly been due to the single-minded endeavours of one man - Piuro artisan Roberto Lucchinetti. After hewing stone from the mountainside, Lucchinetti, a skilled and committed craftsman, draws inspiration from the past and using traditional methods sculpts worthy objects - which remind us of an era long ago. Today, in the hands of signor Lucchinetti a new future for pietra ollare is being shaped - and its prospects once again look bright.

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Pietra Ollare 2019 +39034335905 Cookies & Privacy


(Under the "Code for the Protection of Personal Data", Leg. No 196/2003)

This Privacy Policy explains the way in which Lavorazione pietra ollare di Lucchinetti Roberto, located in Piuro - Via della chiesa, 5 - 23020 - Piuro (SO) - P. IVA 00603540147 C.F. LCCRRT61M31G718F, uses your personal information.

Lavorazione pietra ollare di Lucchinetti Roberto is committed to ensuring the protection of your privacy.

Lucchinetti Roberto may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. Please check this page from time to time to ensure your understanding of any changes. This policy is effective from 22/04/2011.

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