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Art in Stone: Stefano Furlani, Italy

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on 28 days ago

© Courtesy of internet resources

Often, seemingly inane forwarded messages lead to beautiful discoveries. Stefano Furlani was one such, for me. When I received on my cell phone a series of images of stone art - without due credits,  mind you – I went online to ‘search’ their source. Stefano Furlani was the name that instantly popped up; and given the fact that these images have gone viral, it wasn’t surprising at all. So, from a faraway town in Italy, here are some incredible compositions in stone!

Stefano Furlani, then is an Italian artist, who accidentally stumbled upon this art-form; scouring the stony beaches of Fano, a commune in the French province of Pesaro and Urbino. What began as an amusing game between him and his son Davide - picking up unusual shaped stones and laying them down on the sand to make a meaningful picture – evolved into art on canvas! Instead of letting the creations getting washed away by the ebbs and flows of the tides, he started placing them on a wooden base.

© Courtesy of internet resources

Soon, the creations began to get more complex, the detailing more intricate and the pictures more fascinating. Landscapes, people, human figures, animals, birds, human-animal interactions, and many more themes are seen coming to life on Stefano’s canvases.

© Courtesy of internet resources

The process starts with selection of stones, based on their size, shape, colour, and texture. The placement of the stones on the wooden base, is the genesis of all creations. However, it’s not as simple as it appears at a casual glance. A closer assessment reveals the thought behind the creation, as well as the effort that has gone into making it. The way the stones fit, the perfectly coordinated pieces, the shapes and colours that complete the narrative – haven’t come there by a stroke of luck; but rather emerge from an intense process of sifting through hundreds of similar looking stones and finding the perfect fit.  

© Courtesy of internet resources

For instance, this hedgehog has emerged from a careful selection of similar shaped small stones, placed against a perfectly shaped mouth, with an eye and a nose. The colours and textures of the stones are perfectly suited to the spines of the hedgehog. 

© Courtesy of internet resources

And look at this lovely ladybug sitting atop a leaf! Each part is masterfully crafted - exemplifying a brilliant selection of similarly shaped stones in hues of brown making up the frond, and the vibrant red oval stone perfectly picked up to make the body of the ladybug!

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A lot of Furlano's work has animals and birds. However, some human figures too appear in Furlano's artworks - like this girl sipping wine, another one riding a bicycle, one resting by the seashore. 

© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

So taking inspiration from the shape and size of the stone itself, the creation works itself out, piece by piece. Gradually the themes evolve and emerge – a cat licking its paws, a spider in its web, a bird feeding its babies, an owl in flight, lovers kissing, and many more.  The stones are then carefully glued to a pre-painted wooden background. Finally, the artwork is treated with a transparent finish, giving it a lasting lustre.

 
© Courtesy of internet resources
© Courtesy of internet resources

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