THE PIETRA SERENA QUARRYING
Urbano Calamini started his business in the 70’s, when the quarrying activity was only restricted to the outcropping layers due to the greater facilitations during the ʻuncoveringʻ process. Once quarried, the stone was therefore sold rough and untreated. In order to support the production of Pietra Serena, accounted as a valuable cultural identity material in the Tuscan area of Firenzuola, Calamini opened up a small lumber factory and a workshop, where he began working the rough stone blocks coming from Ricavoli and Della Guardiola Quarries. Throughout the years, also thanks to his sonsʻ entry in the business, the Calamini Urbano Company has been greatly enhancing and specifying its services in response to the increasing demand of Pietra Serena products. The quarrying activity of Pietra Serena only takes place within the company-owned quarries and the rough material is entirely worked within the Calamini factory.
The company is located in Firenzuola, in the historical Pietra Serena quarrying district. The delivery, handling and storage activities of the material — rough and semifinished — happen in a wide clearance area. The production activities take place indoor, in an equipped workshop area in which the stone is cut into slabs in designated stations. In the clearance area there is also a designated station with a one-blade sawing machine where the blocks get squared off. The rest of the indoor area is dedicated to offices and administrative facilities.
The Pietra Serena quarrying activity has been playing a remarkable role in the social and economic development. However, as many other human activities, it is also a reason for the change of landscape, ecosystem and thereby human settlement. Nevertheless these changes mostly depend on the operative methods used during the quarrying. Calamini Urbano operates in absolute respect of the laws regulating the recover of the drained quarries. This allows the drained quarries to return to the original stage or possibly to a better environmental and landscape condition.
The Brento Alta quarry is located in the quarrying basin of Brento Sanico, in Firenzuola area, 800 meters above the sea level. The quarry consists of mining claims which cover a 70.000 square meters area and a 25.000 square meters quarrying area; the annual digging amount is 40.000 cubic meters of which 8000 are ornamental Pietra Serena to be worked. The most advanced and sophisticated systems used in the quarrying activity, guarantee the best results in the digging, the highest safety standards and the least environmental impact. Also, the organization system guarantees a constant supply even for large demands.
THE QUARRYING ACTIVITY
The quarrying of Pietra Serena is organized in several steps. Open-pit quarries first require the removal of the upper layers of soil. Afterward, the useless upper bedrock, is removed using excavation methods or explosive sticks. Once the valuable layer is uncovered, the next step is the quarry cultivation. Some splitting machines perform cylindric holes then filled with detonating material and water. The extracted material is then unflawed, selected and moved to the factory. The waste matter is sent to a designated dump and later recycled for urban reclamations, dykes, river banks, containment works, stone chippings and stabilizers. This delicate operation necessarily requires special vehicles and dump trucks.
In the process of promotion of the Pietra Serena and reinterpretation of its uses, the company has been improving and optimizing its management and technical skills. The treating of the rough stone takes place in the main workshop, inside designated areas equipped for different kinds of production. Such production chain allows to achieve a consistent range of standardized and customized products. The machineries are automatic and they allow to monitor and control every operating phase in order to guarantee the highest quality standards. The production intended for the restoration of historical centers and architectural elements is the result of a synergy with selected architects; it is powered by the most advanced and efficient researches on the preservation of the historical heritage.
THE CUTTING PROCESS
After the rough blocks are delivered to the factory workshop, the cutting process starts. The sawing phase allows to obtain different thicknesses of the slabs using special diamond saw blades. Most stone slabs are sold this way, while the remaining amount is re-stored, selected and coded in order to get refined according to the customerʻs request. Thanks to highly skilled and experienced stone-masons, Calamini also produces unique hand-carved crafts. Such products, carefully designed and refined in details, may satisfy any specific need. The machineries used for this operating phase are one-blade or multi-blade special saws along with technically advanced automatic machines. The final and unique touch is lastly provided by the prestigious stone-carving tradition belonging to the company.