The material’s smooth texture and creamy, snow-white coloring have made it a popular and timeless choice for interior design. The term “alabaster” refers to fine-grained, translucent gypsum or calcite mineral which is commonly compared to highly polished marble.
Admired for its natural beauty, alabaster has been utilized for centuries to create sculpture art, carvings, and decorative decor.
Alabaster has been extracted for centuries in both Italy and Egypt, however, it is believed to have received its name from the Ancient Egyptian town of Alabastron, where the stone was quarried and used to construct canopic jars during the mummification process.
Alabaster has also had historical importance in Italy, where the mineral was mined from the hills of the Tuscan countryside. The Etruscans of ancient Italy valued alabaster for its delicate complexion and durability over time, and it was used to craft urns, church tabernacles, vases, and larger sculptures. The ancient Etruscan town of Volterra maintains its status as a hub of alabaster artisanship today.
Not only do alabaster pieces decorate store windows along the streets of the town, but the Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro shares the story of how alabaster is used from when it is mined to when it is crafted into a finished product. The museum also displays 18th-century alabaster pieces in common forms including religious artworks, candleholders, and Neoclassical sculptures.
Given the centuries-old tradition of using the material for decorative purposes, alabaster continues to enhance and inspire home decor today. The mineral’s pure white color and translucent nature make it both a neutral and unique addition when incorporated into a light-filled room. In many forms, alabaster pieces can integrate well whether in a home defined by traditional style or modern design.
Wisteria offers a range of Italian alabaster products including sculptural bowls, artisan vases, and elegant natural lighting options that can be beautiful additions to your home no matter the aesthetic. These beautiful pieces were hand-picked with care from historic workshops nestled in the Italian countryside, just for you. Choose to pair your alabaster products with additional neutrals such as wood tones or grays or experiment with contrast considering alabaster’s bright white color. Either way, alabaster provides a sense of warmth and refinement to your home.