Alabaster - The Stone of Arts

May 20, 2022  |  Anne-Claire Verbeeren

Magnificent, splendid, extraordinary, captivating. These are the words that come to mind when one thinks of the alabaster stone. Since the beginning of art and craft, the stone has imposed itself as an infinite creative playground. 

Ancient Egyptian Alabaster Canopic Jar - National Museum of Natural History

“Eye of the moon”

It is the ancient Egyptians who gave alabaster its name, full of magic and mystery. The stone was used in the cult of the cat goddess Bast. With her close connection to the sun and the light, the deity was also called “eye of the moon”. A name that would fit alabaster perfectly… The fascination for the stone has crossed times. Symbol of purity, it is even believed to have healing powers on the mind and emotions.

Illuminated Alabaster Panel

Stone of light

This natural jewel is mostly found in the desert regions of Italy, England, Mexico and the United States of America. It is a rare crystallization of gypsum which gives it its singular texture and translucent quality.

Voltra Totem Alabaster piece showing watercolor line

The brown watercolor lines that run through the stone and give it its unique signature are due to the presence of iron oxide. The variations in translucency are induced by the temperature at which the alabaster is heated. Immersed in water at high temperature, the stone can become as opaque as marble.

The variation in stone pattern is evident during the cutting process

Its unique texture and the warm, even light it radiates make alabaster a material of choice for lighting. In addition to its exceptional visual qualities, alabaster is also known for its high density. Its fragile and delicate aesthetic combined with its weight creates a surprising contrast.

Voltra Totem Alabaster - 80mm Natural Brass

Our Totem Alabaster

Voltra’s Totem range was developed on the idea of warmth and intimacy. In the words of Arnold Chan, the range’s designer: “The subtle light projected on faces should recreate the candlelight feeling of closeness, harmony and deep connection.” Natural alabaster quickly emerged as a material of choice. 

80mm Totem Alabaster Range

Voltra’s Totem alabaster is internally lit and designed to create an even illumination. Directly handcrafted from the stone, each lamp has a unique visual signature. The cold metal base enhances the stone’s imperfect beauty by contrast. The choice of Alabaster gives each Totem an impressive, luxurious weight.

Discover Our Totem Alabaster Range

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