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June 2021


New stories, old stones

The Cros-de-Cagnes showroom displays families of bookends, coin trays, sofa ends, and platters. All designed and fabricated from Marbrerie Provençale du Haut de Cagnes offcuts. COTE takes you on a guided tour.

By Eve Chatelet
Le designer Dom Trapp et Denis Riocreux à la Marbrerie Provencale du Huat de Cagnes, qui offre une richesse de marbres et de roches uniques.

They had thought to call their project “Some people’s waste is other people’s treasure”, but finally opted for “Neolithique”. A name which etymologically means “new stone”. To them, it means a new way of looking at rocks, but above all, it gives the key to Denis Riocreux and Dominique Trapp’s approach. The former is a marble worker hailing from three generations of craftsmanship, the latter a nature-loving designer. For almost three years, they have been designing collections of unique objects for home and office made from offcuts from the Marbrerie Provençale in Cagnes-sur-Mer. “I had been planning to create simple objects from rocks for a long time,” explains Dominique. The meeting with Denis Riocreux was timely. When he opened the doors of his park to me, we were able to design and create collections of objects that enhance these beautiful materials.”

Monopoly and Tetris from our childhood
The Cagnoise brand creations are exhibited locally at the Good Design Store in Nice and the Archibiolab agency in Antibes. But these days, the Parisian design galleries are starting to come and choose. “When we produce gravel from old stones, it’s recycling. But when we make small houses from it to serve as bookends, we add value to the object, so it’s upcycling,” continues the designer, whose products are born from unused resources. Marble or granite that has already been extracted and is surplus to requirements. Time intervals when the machines are vacant and the craftsmanship available. Their marble objects often have a modular appearance, like the bookcases he invented reaching up to the ceilings of their waterfront showroom.

Arabescato minerality
Just as he would have been wide-eyed as a child collecting minerals in his youth, Dominique’s eyes light up when he starts to detail the materials used to make his objects: “In France, there is blue Savoy stone and Bouzentès lava which comes from the Massif Central. Two types of rock that I have combined in a bookend. I have also created small houses in Hainaut blue stone with polished, flamed, or brushed sides, which allows you to compare the differences in treatment.” Although at the beginning he made a lot of drawings before shaping his creations, Dominique is increasingly moving towards minimal gestures that exalt the beauty of the materials and their history even more. By precisely choosing what he works with, he creates “opportunity pieces” that work in echo with the marble works’order movements. “Upcycling used to be an everyday occurrence in all sectors. When we made a dress, we made the sleeves of another model with the remaining fabric. It was only natural.” -