You could call it fate or serendipity, but without PCBC architectural designer Jeffrey Lamb and Italian artisan stone carver Daniele Deglie Esposti may have never met. And then we wouldn’t have their incredibly beautiful artisan stone bath line Vero-Lamb. When Daniele and Jeff met at PCBC in 2008, they quickly discovered that they shared a passion for turning common interior spaces into lasting works of art. They also spoke at length on the fact that when it came to stone, there was really nothing apart from standard slabs available for sinks in the U.S. A partnership was born, and now, these two legendary artists have come together to design a product line that makes true stone artistry available to the U.S. and represents the best combination of their unique talents.
PCBC: How did you meet at PCBC? Were you looking to meet someone like each other or was it just good fortune?
Daniele: I’m an Italian stone carver from Siena, Tuscany. I moved to California with my American wife over five years ago and began a career doing projects for private clients. I had an Italian friend living in Sonoma. His wife knew Jeffrey Lamb’s girlfriend. I was looking for people to work with, people who wanted to take stone design to another level in the U.S., and Jeffrey was a speaker at PCBC that year. The event was the perfect place for our first meeting.
From a designer’s perspective, Jeff was eager to be able to start a design around a beautiful piece of stone. Up to this point, designers would design a bathroom, then look for a piece to fit the style they had created. All of a sudden it was possible to shape the entire room around a stone feature. That makes the design much easier and much more pleasing.
I was excited to meet Jeff because I was so impressed with the beautiful custom projects he had done in all sorts of materials – glass, ceramic, wood. I knew he would be excited to meet someone who could offer in stone what he had been doing with these other materials. And he was. He was very happy to meet someone who didn’t work in slab, but who created pieces from solid blocks of stone. Another designer at heart.
From there the seeds of our collaboration began. This year we’re launching two Vero-Lamb lines – one is a modern bath set in solid travertine called the Tilt and the other is designed for spa in bright glazed lava stone. The Tilt line consists of an infinity contoured bathtub with recirculating water (water goes through a filter and a heater), a shower tower, and a wash basin. Everything leans on a 30 degree tilt from the wall – hence the name Tilt – and is engineered to attach to the wall at the very bottom of each unit. The whole look and feel is very sleek and modern. We’ll be hosting an opening party this year to introduce the line. People can feel free to contact us for an invite vy clicking HERE.
PCBC: What do you find most valuable or enjoy about PCBC in general?
Daniele: There are a few things I really enjoy about PCBC. First, it’s very fulfilling for me to meet people and artists with a similar passion for their work and an appreciation for beauty and design. Second, I love to see how people are using old material, e.g. recycled wood, metals, etc., in modern applications. The innovative techniques used to bring this stuff into contemporary, sustainable design always amazes me! In general, the eco products appeal to me because of the thought and engineering that goes into them. Also, they often have a very strong design element that catches my eye.
Before coming to the U.S. I hadn’t thought of my stone pieces as part of the sustainability effort, but in fact they are. A sink made of Carrara marble can in 50 years be re-carved into a stone step, then in another 50 years be re-shaped into a vase, and so-on. The capitals, benches, steps, arches, and architectural pieces I’ve made will stand for centuries, through weather, use, and anything else you can think of.
PCBC: What’s your product all about?
Daniele: Quality, design, and functionality.
I come from a culture where stone carving has existed for centuries. My own father is a sculptor. With all of that history behind us, the stone carver understands the limitless potential of natural stone. We only work with stone that can be carved. We don’t use hard stones that can only be worked with machinery, like granite and basalt. Also, we work with monolithic pieces – that means a sink or bathtub is carved from a single block of stone. For a bathroom set, we carve each piece from the same block. Nothing is veneered. Everything has integrity. True quality. Our travertine comes from the same quarry that supplied the travertine for the Colosseum. Our marble comes from the same quarry where Michelangelo selected his block for the David.
Design is instilled in my bones. Growing up in the streets of Siena, and literally repairing and restoring centuries-old churches, buildings, and roads, I have a heightened appreciation for proportion, design, and artful beauty. Design is a key element in everything I create.
This last point is important – functionality. Many Americans who spend thousands of dollars on a marble bathtub buy it because it looks beautiful. They don’t care that they couldn’t possibly take a bath in it because it’s not built for a human body! I’ve sat in some beautiful yet excruciatingly uncomfortable tubs and I go nuts because it doesn’t have to be that way. In one of my bathtubs, you will sit and soak for hours on a contoured seat with knee and back support.
PCBC: What advice would you give to others about making the most of their connections at PCBC?
Daniele: As with any expo or networking opportunity, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Before meeting Jeff at PCBC, I found out everything I could about him – projects he had done, influences he had (turns out, he had explored the work of Italian Master, Carlo Scarpa), etc. I also thought about how I wanted to approach him and what I wanted to get from the meeting.
When we met, we quickly discovered that we shared a passion for turning common interior spaces into lasting works of art. We spoke at length on the fact that when it came to stone, there was really nothing apart from standard slabs available for sinks in the U.S. We both wanted that to change.
From there, we stayed in touch and committed to working together on a few projects. It took effort on both our parts to keep us working together, since he lives in Portland and I’m several hours south.
If I had to boil it down to two things – preparation and persistence.
PCBC: What are you looking forward to most about San Diego this year?
Daniele: To be completely honest, surfing at the beach!
PCBC: Anything else?
Daniele: PCBC changed my professional life in a momentous way. Before attending PCBC and meeting my first American collaborator, I was still a stone carver. I knew I wanted to do more – design, for instance – but my parameters were still defined by the work I had done in Italy. After a door was opened at PCBC, huge opportunities began to appear. I began developing my design aesthetic and cultivating my passion for creativity with stone. I found myself working with different materials and extremely talented people..
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