From February 12 to 15, Vitoria Stone Fair, the most important fair of the ornamental stone sector of the Americas, anticipates the main trends of natural stones and presents new technologies and design for the world market. The event brings together 300 national and international exhibitors from countries such as China, South Korea, Italy, Spain, India, Portugal, Russia and Bulgaria. The event, which takes place at the Carapina Pavilion, in Serra, estimates that it will receive around 15 thousand visitors.
Focused on generating new business and developing the sector´s production chain in the world market, Vitória Fair invests in actions and projects aimed at connecting buyers, specifiers and professionals related to construction, decoration and mining with the exhibiting companies. During the four days, it is possible to check the natural stones from their raw form to the potential of these materials in design pieces.
According to the ranking of the Brazilian Association of the Ornamental Stone Industry (ABIROCHAS), Brazil closed the year 2018 as the 4th largest exporter of natural stones in the world. The president of the Union of the Ornamental Stone, Cal and Limestone Industry of Espírito Santo (Sindirochas), Tales Machado says that due to the world economic scenario, the end of 2018 brought encouraging figures for the exports of ornamental stones and evaluates the impact of the realization of Vitoria Stone Fair earlier this year. "Being the first business offer of the year is very important for the national economy, as well as for the movement of the international market, which begins the year anxious for news."
The enthusiasm is directly related to the geological wealth of the country, which has the greatest diversity of materials in the world, and today exports to 120 countries.
During Vitoria Stone Fair, this variety will be represented by the releases of classic and exotic natural stones that the exhibitors will present in the form of blocks, slabs, furniture and pieces of design, among other uses. More than 40 releases have already been confirmed.
Through the corridors of the fair it will be possible to check the beauty and the palettes of natural colors of stones like Pegasus, a quartzite of white background with linear movements that vary from the gray to the bluish; of the Faryus quartzite which is predominantly blue with white, red and green motions. For admirers of the genuinely Brazilian stones, with yellowish nuances, the stakes are on the Sunflower, a yellow quartzite with white cloud movements and Vivace, a yellow granite.
In addition, of course, the classic materials such as the unique Acará, a white quartzite, and the natural gray stones that hold a captive place in architecture and decoration. Perla Roca, a quartzite with particular features in shades of gray, is among the novelties.
The Blanc Du Blanc, São Gabriel Black, São Benedito Black, Itaúnas White, Athens Gray, Nero Marquina, Dallas White, White Primata and New Venetian stones, and Niveous and Valle Nevado releases will also be on display at the fair.
Tailor-made pieces market pursued by the sector
By keeping with the tradition of networking with current and future partners and encouraging the exploration of new niches and business opportunities, Vitoria Stone Fair seeks to present ways of using ornamental stones that goes beyond the traditional and add value to the materials. Such initiatives meet the new challenge of the sector, which according to the president of Sindirochas, is the increase in the export of finished pieces of ornamental stones.
One of the actions in this sense is the Brazilian Stones Original Design exhibition, held in partnership with ABIROCHAS and the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments - Apex Brazil. The exhibition, which brings furniture and pieces, signed by renowned Brazilian designers, portrays the most modern and current in the use of natural stones in the universes of decoration and art. This year, the Stone Collection space joins the exhibition, featuring an exclusive selection of the top stone and finishes releases for the year 2019.
Architect Vivian Coser, curator of the projects, explains that architecture, design and art are the best ways to add value and present all the lightness and versatility that stone can acquire, in furniture, works of art or objects. "The crystals of a stone never repeat themselves - they reflect time, climate, harmony. Nature forms unique designs, revealed off the ground by unbeatable production, which has improved, including in the sense of adopting increasingly sustainable practices, with respect to the environment. For these reasons, its value goes beyond synthetic stones in all respects. No synthetic fabrication will be able to replace the original glow and the history of a natural stone".
Technological innovations follow trends
With an eye to this approach, which seeks to value ornamental stones in finished products, machinery companies invest in technological innovations to meet the needs of the market. Among the releases, we highlight equipment that aims to transform the raw product into true jewelry of architecture.
For example, a water-cutting machine with a 3-axis 3D cutting head will be launched at Vitoria Fair. In operation during the event, the technology was created to develop innovative and complex cuts on curved and/or conical surfaces. According to the company, the equipment, which meets the requirements of high precision in industries, guarantees results in the cutting of natural stones in vertical, horizontal, angular, circular and tubes, being able to cut pieces with chamfers, half-square, countersunk and cuts at different angles, allowing differentiated and exclusive finishes.
To meet a new niche market -cut to size(custom pieces), the stone companies have acquired machinery with CNC cutting technology that enables them to exalt the natural beauty and the multiple possibilities of using the stones in the decoration, by creating sculpted finishes and dimensions on these materials.
"The 3D cutting transforms the natural stone into design pieces, sculptures and works of art, by guiding the direction of the cutting wire. We can say that this a cutting edge execution, a true technological evolution in the exploration of machinery when sculpting the stones and transforming them into true decoration jewels", says Vivian Coser.
Buyers of various profiles
With an eye on the possibilities of using natural stones and the emergence of technologies destined for finishes and new textures, a group of American architects, invited by ABIROCHAS, confirmed presence at Vitoria Stone Fair. The USA is currently the main destination of Brazilian ornamental stones, accounting for almost 60% of total export turnover. The Espírito Santo answered, in 2018, for more than 94% of everything that was exported to the Americans, that is, almost US$ 560 million.
The internal market of architecture also responded positively to the innovations in design and technology and will be represented by a group of architects of renowned offices of the country, invited by the Brazilian Association of Architecture Offices (AsBEA), as well as the participants of the 2nd edition of Archathon Vitoria Stone Fair.
The Arch & Design marathon, which challenges participants to design an environment during the fair, valuing the use of ornamental stone, will receive, in addition to the 22 finalist groups, renowned professionals from the architecture market who will act as mentors and judges of the competition.
As for international buyers, the fair expects to receive visitors from more than 46 countries, from the United States, China, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Germany and Poland, the latter will participate with a delegation of 20 companies. Buyers from these markets often visit the fair in search of natural stones for large buildings such as airports, shopping centers, among others.