Lava Stone Crafting or Vulcanic Stone
The crafting of the lava stone, also called vulcaninc stone, resulting from the mining industry of the nearby quarries of Etna, for ornamental purposes or for building materials, gave a living to many Sicilian families.
The “pirriaturi”, in the past, extracted along the ridges of Etna only the surface layers of lava because they where more porous and more easy to work with tools such as chisel, and hammer. The extracted material was after that reduced to flagstones. One of the prevailing uses which accounted for the lava was the paving of urban and rural roads.
Today the extraction takes place with the aid of modern machines such as bulldozers and mechanical shovel that can reach deep layers where the lava is more compact, harder and lighter in color. Stone processing is facilitated by the use of other tools and equipment: drill, flex, and sander.
With the lava rock can be made ornaments and sculptures and in the arts there has been a positive increase in its use for residential interior decor. An increasing number of homes feature stairs, tables or the foundations of the fireplaces made with lava stone.