Several weeks ago, Thorntree had the privilege of bringing eight designers from Dallas and Houston to tour several of the most prominent porcelain factories and stone quarries of Italy. With their home base in Parma, they made daily excursions to the nearby areas. They visited a marble quarry in Carrara along the west coast, and a Botticino quarry, near Verona. They were also able to tour at least three porcelain factories during their short stay.
Helping educate our clients on the quarrying and fabrication of stone and tile never gets old. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience to get to see how stone is extracted from the ground, cut to size, and refined into a beautiful finished product.
In a similar way, it is just as fascinating to see the fabrication process of porcelain. Taken from clay, minerals, and feldspar, the porcelain is formed, printed, and heated to produce a tough and impervious new material. With recent advancements in printing technology, often times it’s hard to tell the difference between natural stone and porcelain. This is advantageous in the construction industry, because it allows for a wider variety of material selections to be used in areas where natural stone would normally not be able to withstand its local environment.
Of course all work and no play would make for a very tiring trip! We were lucky enough to have many delicious meals, some excellent Italian wine, and wonderful conversation with new friends! The itinerary was very rigorous, but our team was always up for learning, while mixing in a little bit of fun!
All in all, it was a fantastic and memorable trip! We hope our clients were able to learn a lot and take with them these invaluable experiences. Mille grazie, amici!