Breathing New Life into Old Materials


Italian designer Marco Stefanelli is breathing new life into old pieces of wood and stone for his Brecce collection of sustainable indoor and outdoor lighting. Cast-off sawmill byproducts, left-over firewood, or broken concrete building parts are embedded with resin and long-lasting LEDs so they glow from within.

On his blog, Stefanelli writes about the idea of material reuse, or hand-made cradle to cradle manufacturing: “The idea that generates my new work is transforming a generally one-shot productive process (just think of wood and stone) into a serial one.”



Stefanelli emphasizes that he’s looking for materials seemingly on their last legs, turning what everyone views as waste products into something useful and beautiful: “In order to realize Brecce’s project I wanted to take inspiration from natural objects that in some ways have reached their final step in the life cycle. They are sawmill’s outlets, pieces of urban architecture, logs carried by the river, firewood…”


For his pieces, the “formwork” is made of wood or stone but divided into multiple segments. Resin is the middle layer that keeps the work together.


Stefanelli wrote: “I’ve tried to give these pieces a second chance, tempting the light to come out from the material and amplify the sensory experience.”

See more images at This is Colossal.

Image credits: Marco Stefanelli

3 thoughts on “Breathing New Life into Old Materials

  1. GAvin McWilliam 08/22/2012 / 6:03 am

    Absolutely love it, we were exploring similar ideas for a couple of our gardens. Keep up the great work. Gavin

  2. DaShan 08/23/2012 / 8:07 am

    Beautiful and very creative. I would love to have a piece like this in my landscape or home.

  3. Monica Mroz 08/28/2012 / 11:14 am

    I love your concept of turning seemingly useless materials into something unique and extraordinary! Beautiful execution.

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