There is magic in the Makrana marble

Take a look at Hayat Group's artefacts and casual seaters at STONA 2012 to know more about the Makrana marble assortment , says Ranjani Govind

Published - February 03, 2012 07:01 pm IST

Makrana marble is never supposed to turn off-white or yellow. Photo: Special Arrangement

Makrana marble is never supposed to turn off-white or yellow. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Hayat Group's Marblex stall at the ongoing STONA 2012 exhibition at BIEC may mislead you into thinking that it is a nondescript small stall, but once you look around at the assortment housed, you will know that each piece in marble that makes up the space there is an absolute rarity.

Resplendent white marble from Makrana is what Abdul Rehman and son Faizan Rehman deal with. Handicrafts, ornate temple work, monuments, inlays set in fine flooring patterns, pierced screen lattice work or jalis (grill) carved in geometric and floral patterns, western and Indian sculptures, artefacts studded with natural and semi-precious stones…well, the list is endless.

Fine balance

“We have garden sofas and sun loungers in these white marble these days, and our huge wall panels are murals exposed to manual grooving and chiselling. We deal with traditional items, and love to bring in products for contemporary tastes too. That's when we can balance the two worlds,” says Abdul Rehman.

While chic wash-basins throw up the luxury, you wonder about marble stone and its water absorption properties that would make it unfriendly.

“No, not at all. This is Makrana marble that contains 99.9 per cent calcium which restricts water seepage. With just a smatter of iron content, the marble is atmosphere-friendly too, as for generations it doesn't change colour. Only excess iron can hinder the quality of the stone,” clarifies Abdul Rehman.

Touted to be vaasthu-friendly too due to its calcium infestation, Makrana marble is never supposed to turn off-white or yellow and also has the sturdy make-up to lend itself to ornamentation purposes.

Some exquisites

But what are some truly exquisites that the Hayat Group has worked upon are vases and wine glasses that are light weight and easy to carry during travel.

Take a look at their eye-catching ornamental vases in all shapes.

The antique Mughal vase with a broad base and an elongated neck, for instance, is bedecked with gold, crystals and a lot of natural paints.

This one-ft. tall vase, costing Rs. 20,000, weighs just 950 gm and takes four artisans to work on it for 10 days! “Neither the marble nor the gold work gets black, it is a treasure for generations,” promises Rehman.

The painstaking work done in microscopic detail has ornamentation of different kinds, including gold painting and sticking gold leaves.

The vase is provided with water colour embossing, fixed with precious stones, and the borders have stain-free hand painting with the edges wrapped with 24-carat gold foil…all this with Rajasthani minakari running riot all over.

The Hayat Group has an in-house unit with expert craftsmen in Jaipur.

It also encourages economically backward artisans by giving them daily wages and a major portion of the funds are diverted for social work.

The history

Makrana is the oldest among cities in India with marble quarries. “The best characteristic of the marble here is that it doesn't require treatment. It's taken up for cutting and chiselling straight from the mine,” explains Rehman.

“Makrana marbles are also clean without pin-holes or scratch surfaces that require chemicals to fill up the fissures. Why do you think Taj Mahal or the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata has lasted centuries? It's because of the Makrana magic!” he says.

But Rehman says the marble undergoes processing to get varied finishes such as gauged finish, sand blast, honed finish, mirror polished finish, diamond polished, hand cut, flaming, antique, itching and textured for every kind of usage in construction, lifestyle products and artefacts.

Starting from Rs. 30 and going up to a towering Rs.1000 per sq. ft, Makrana marble needs no maintenance in any of its avatars.

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