What started as a stone facade and interior finishes in Leiria, Portugal, is now one of the up and coming design manufacturers of marble and stone furniture and accessories. Their unique approach to rescuing and utilizing the discarded blocks and leftovers from their larger production to make stunning luxury designs is what they call a "Cinderella" story. They give us a closer look at how they design and manufacture some of their most iconic designs.
Hi Essenzia! Tell us about the brand, the founders, and its origins.
Essenzia is a brand focused on contemporary design in the context of stone, which aims to offer a new vision for the use of marble carefully selected to create exclusive and memorable products for daily life. We believe that each stone has a use and that we must find each stone's best purpose. The brand it's owned by Moca Stone S. A company started its activity in the stone industry in 1962 and has always stood out for the quality of the raw material and production that has made it an international reference. This project started in 2019 with a desire to respect the extracted natural matter by carefully selecting leftovers from the main factory to shape exclusive products and objects.
What makes a Essenzia Product?
A Essenzia product is not only a useful piece with a beautiful design. It´s the entire process from selecting a marble block from leftovers to a final product with unique features. Discarded pieces from our larger production that otherwise have no commercial interest get transformed into luxury pieces for everyday life in a magical transformation. We think it´s the all process and history that make each piece unique.
What inspires the Essenzia designs?
Our pieces are inspired by art, architecture, nature, and industrial atmospheres like stone quarries and factories that are our "natural habitat." We work very closely at all stages of the production of a Essenzia piece, and all the different stages of production, human movements, machine actions, and even sounds are in some ways an inspiration for the design we create.
The sounds from de tools and their mechanical movements carry a certain rhythm: every sound has a beat and a tone that, when translated to paper, carries through dynamically and emotionally.
Tells us about the manufacturing process?
Most of our pieces are made from marble leftovers from our factory, and the first step is to carefully select the block or slab we want to re-use to avoid unexpected cracks. Then, each marble block or slab is processed by high tech machinery and finished by highly skilled and specialized artisans that give all attention to the details that shape each Essenzia piece. The active dialogue between the designer and artisans results in high-end products with refined finishing touches that emphasize the features of the stone, making each piece unique.
Which is the most challenging piece to make of your collection?
The Swing bowl it´s the most challenging piece. This piece balances with its own weight and creates a relation between individuals and objects. Despite having a very minimal shape, it´s made of natural travertine, a sedimentary limestone that means that its composition is not entirely solid and compact and has natural cavities. This means several hours of work and extraordinary commitment by our artisans to work on the stone piece until we find the perfect balance point that stabilizes the piece.
As a Portuguese brand, what part of your work or process best represents your nation's cultural influence?
Our know-how and the use of our natural marble is what best represents Portugal in our brand. Our country is recognized for its marble and expertise in production since the first-century A.C during the Roman Empire. Even Romans exported our marble to Spain, France, even in some Ancient buildings in Italy.
What do you hope customers experience when they use your products?
We hope our customers feel that, by buying an Essenzia piece, they're buying a result of a process, a dialogue between design and human craftsmanship.
Share a few thoughts of what you like about being part of the Aztro community?
It has been very exciting to be part of Aztro community from day one. I had the opportunity to meet the founder, and I am confident they will succeed in becoming an essential resource for design lovers around the world.