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Wood and furniture

Arredo
Verona’s Chamber of Commerce continues in its mission of promoting the excellence of its manufacturing industry by creating this web site dedicated to the furniture sector.
The furniture industry is indeed a fundamental element in the history of entrepreneurship in the Verona area, having evolved from an artistic activity on the Part of a few artisans into an area of production rich with businesses, styles, innovation, an area whose quality and originality, typical of the “Made in Italy” label, finds its common element.
The businesses listed in this web site represent one part of this world of manufacturing: the businesses that already work, or have begun to work, outside Italy, approximately 150 businesses of various sizes that produce period, classic, or modern furniture, or accessories. The purpose of this publication is to increase awareness of this productive activity, unique in its sector, in order to promote its presence in a time of mounting challenges posed by the market, with the certainty that the craftsmanship and creativity of Verona’s businesses will continue to make successful products to furnish houses all over the world.

 

MARBLE

Arredo
Marble quarrying and processing, work carried out on a large scale in ancient Egypt and Greece, became established in ltaly in Roman times and progressively developed during the Renaissance, becoming an economic reality at the end of the 1700, initially using explosives and later mechanical cutting systems. At the end of the 1800s, Veronese quarries -second in importance only to those of the Apuan Alps - were well known all over Europe, supplying marble to the city of Vienna, and the need was felt to set up a school to train local workers: the Brenzoni School of Art was set up in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, still active and held in high regard today.
A century later, the Veronese area reduced quarrying activity, while the natural stone processing industry enjoyed strong development, thanks not the least to the introduction of gangsaws and diamond tools. Until the 1970s, Veronese companies in the sector almost exclusively worked local marbles. Through massive investments in new technology, they are today able to process any kind of material (including granite), shipped to Verona from quarries all over the world and processed into flooring and cladding products sold on international markets.
The stone industry in the Veronese area is largely located along the River Adige, from the northern borders with the province of Trento as far as Verona itself, and in Valpantena. Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella is the centre with the most companies, followed by Dolcè in the Adige valley, Grezzana and Lugo in Valpantena. Negrar in Valpolicella, Affi and Pescantina.
These industries are equipped with gangsaws fitted with diamond blades capable of cutting marble of average hardness at speeds of 35 cm/hour, as well as block cutters fitted with giant diamond-tipped cutting disks: the hightech plant, equipped with sophisticated systems requiring major investments, needed to develop industrial standards from largely small­business beginning, thereby making Veronese companies highly competitive on all markets. The Veronese “natural stone system”, embracing the mountain and hill areas of the city’s province, thus established a role of major economic importance for the entire area, stimulating the growth of haulage companies and numerous other businesses in related fields.
Gangsaws, polishing machines, helical wire cutting plant, cranes and winches are often supplied by engineering companies in the Veronese area itself, while abrasives, polishing agents, mastics and waxes are also largely supplied by Veronese companies. The cxploitation of the limestone outcrops in the hills and mountains around Verona dates back to ancient times. Lessinia stone was undoubtedly one of the first materials to be quarried, since its particular slab-like structure significantly facilitates block quarrying operations. This kind of material was always utilised directly, with the exception of summary finishing, giving rise to the typical, “spontaneous” architecture characteristic of the Lessinia landscape. This historic landscape is now protected by laws which require that new buildings are built using Lessinia stone, so that output is largely utilised in its place of origin.
The main marble materials quarried in blocks around the area include Verona Red, Verona Nembro, Breccia Pernice, Rosa del Garda and Giallo Reale. The quarries are essentially located in Sant’Ambrogio, Fumane, Dolcè, Caprino, Sant’Anna d’Alfaedo and Selva di Progno. Veronese industry in this sector also holds an international record: Verona is the world leader in the production of agglomerates, with 80% of the market. Agglomerates are special compounds made from crushed marble mixed with bonding agents, which is compacted in large moulds and generally used to make flooring tiles. The province exports 80% of production, equal to one third of the national total in the sector.
Exports are shipped for the most part to the USA, Germany and the rest of Europe, China and the Far East. The image of the Veronese natural stone industry is supported by the work of the Chamber of Commerce, which collaborates with local trade associations to promote exhibition events of vital importance for the sector.

 

Furniture

Furniture
There are chronicles of artistic wood working - and especially inlays - in Verona dating from 1400. Higly prized works include the inlays of the chori - stalls in the church of santa Maria in organo, by Olivetan monk Frà Giovanni, which are evene discussed at lenght in the writings of Vsarai. However, five centuries passed before another out-standing crafsman from Asparetto di cerea in the plains area south of Verona begna what is now one of the most important industries in the Veronese economy: a carpenter in an essentially agricultural area accustomed to fixing wagons and tools, he began almost by chance to repair ald wooden furnishings for the noble villa of the area.
The skill of this craftman was soon noticed and his own curiosity encouraged him to study the antique furniture entrusted to him - to the point of making his own superb reproductions.
His workshop became increasingly important, his staff expanded and in turn became small entrepreneurs and masters for young craftsmen who, thanks also to the support of the Popular Design School founded in cerea in 1910, specialised in quality reproductions of artistic furniture.
After the stand still caused by the second world war, demand grew in the 1950s and espcially the early 1960s and almost every household in the area embracing Bovolone, Cerea, Salizzole, Nogara and Sanguinetto bore the sign of a small furniture making business.
To encourage the market even further, Bovolonr Local council organised an exhibition of Veronese crafsman furniture: it was the first step towards what was soon to become - with assistance from the Verona Chamber of Commerce - one of the most important international furniture exhibitions.
From the early 1960s, with the introduction of new machines rapidly and accuartely performing machining operations until then carried out entirely by hand, crafsman activity inthe furniture field achieved significant levels of development.
The area with the highest concentration of companies, many of wich are still family owned, extends from the southern part of the province of Verona to the borders with Mantua, Rovigo, Padua and Vicenza, - focusing on the towns of Bovolone, Casaleone, Cerea, concamarise, Gazzo, Isoal della scala, isola Rizza, Legnago, Nogara, Oppeano, Salizzole, Sanguinetto and San Pietro di Morubio.
This area - known as the "Bassa Veronese" is home to 90% of furniture making companies in the entire province; in particular, the Verona - Nogara -Cerea triangle boasts the highest output in Italy of reproduction furniture - designs produced using modern techhnologies but reflecting the typical forms of times gone by.
This type of furniture keeps faith with tradition to express values such as solidity, equlibrium, durability and well being wich are still higly regarded by a a wide ranging clientele.
Growth in population, together with increasingly advanced technology, have stimulated a gradual process of manufacturing decentralisation.
Many workshops now specialise in the production of individual components which are then finished, assembled and distributed all over the world by companies with a stronger market presence.
This has helped develop a very efficient production base, where each craftsman workshop operates rather like a department in a amuch alrger company while retaining small business vitality and motivation.
This system means that Veronese producers can offer clients a broad range of catalogue models rapidly expedite orders for single pieces or complete furnishing suites.
Production decentralisation has stimulated significant development of knowhow within many specialist companies which, by devoting their efforts exclusively to a single production or processing sector, are able to adapat and innovate with an agility rarely found in larger companies.
furniture production in the Province has also become the driving force behind intense collateral activity in both carftsmanship (Upholstery, padding, curtains, cane, leatyher, brass, glass, mirrors) and industry (lighting elements, wood working machinery, paints, plastics, composite materials).
Neverthless, the type of furniture manufactured on the largest scale is still the reporduction style, involving more than half the companies in the Veronese area.
Among the others, 10% produce modern furniture, in particular modular kitchens, and about 40% supply components and semi finished products for larger companies.
In total, there are about 2.000 production centres in the secto, providing jobs for morethan 8.000 employees.
Almost on ethird of output is exported, largelòy to germany whic takes 50% of total international sales.
The german market is followed by France, austria, britain and America; new markets showing the greatest interest in Veronese furniture include Eastern europe as a whole, Japan and south East Asia.
Trade is stimulated by exhibitions held every year organised by the local exhibition centre attracting operators from all over the world to Verona.
Veronese industrialists and craftsmen are assisted by the Chamber of Commerce, which organises attendance even on a group scale at international exhibitions, coordinates international trade missions, helps set up contacts with foreign operators and promotes the quality and image of Veronese furniture worldwide.

 

 

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