Massima is a fresh French company working directly with a network of artisans and small family ventures in the marble extraction area in Northern Tuscany, between Carrara and Pietrasanta.
Administration wise it’s based around Lyon (where its founder Paolo Ballarin lives) but has offices in Carrara in the heart of the production area.
Massima wishes to share the experience of marble assembled with other natural materials, emphasizing its qualities through functional or decorative objects.
Designed in France, Made in Italy… with Elegance and Passion!
Massima presents and distributes the production of talents and savoir-faire of this geographical region, most of the current ranges are designed by Paolo , some pieces from the artisans themselves, their names are mentioned in the products’ descriptions.
It also proposes to highlight active marble sculptors of the area, young or renown, and occasionally promote objects or companies of which the production does not fit directly in the ranges of Massima’s product but share an obvious common vision.
Massima proposes collections, limited editions and unique pieces.
As with wood veins, the natural patterns which appear in marble and stones are barely predictable, each piece is really unique, ourselves only discover the final appearance of a piece once its finished. This explains why our photos are by definition “for information” , what you will receive will never be precisely what you see on our site (see also sales conditions), even though obviously the geometry are perfectly identical.
To transform mountains into pieces of sophisticated decorative items, many steps are required , our network of artisans use all their talent and generation transmitted technical knowledge to deliver the highest quality.
Marble is the result of million years of compression of sedimentary rocks ( to make things simple think chalk) with other minerals giving the variation in colors and textures. White marble is the purest of these forms of compressions with very little impurities; it is so pure (from abrasive silicates for example) that in most workshops where the material is carved masks are not required.
It is surprising to think how common it is in our daily lives: you may have some on your body (make-up), used it in your mouth or body (toothpaste, medicine), you may be surrounded by it (paints). In the form of powder it’s used as a filler in many industries.
In fact 80% of it is used for these industrial purposes, the remaining for architecture and artifacts.
At this scale of things, Massima is just picking-up “crumbs”.
We obviously admit that the extraction activity modifies the natural landscape… as any human activity modifies any landscape. In this particular case one could say that at least it has the honesty of exposing itself to us all, being integrally and historically part and the signature of the local landscape , accepted and recognized as so with a certain pride from the population.
Environmental ONGs keep an eye on the extraction activities so they do not trespass negotiated borderlines, in surface and elevation), the quarries being inside a protected regional natural park
(Parco Naturale Regionale delle Alpi Apuane).
Massima minimises its footprint simply by being as local as possible limiting moving around ourselves and the material. Packaging design was approached with the same mindset (local box and sticker manufacturer), we still have an issue with our shock absorbing materials (petrol based), this we expect to be hard to find a perfect substitute.