Pyrolave’s lava stone comes from our quarry in Volvic, central France.The stone is extracted from lava flows within the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional in central France, with the extraction sites upon the flow being very small. All aspects of extraction are carefully monitored by Pyrolave to ensure stringent observance of environmental controls and standards.
The randomly sized boulders of lava are lifted by crane from the flow following the natural fault lines and shrinkage cracks.The block is then sliced into scants of varying thickness by diamond-tipped saws.These rough-sized scants are then sent to the factory in Castelsarrasin, near Toulouse, for the next stage of production, the refined cutting and glazing processes.
Volvic lava has a long history in the architecture of France.In Volvic itself and the large cities close to Volvic, many cathedrals, municipal buildings and public places have been constructed with natural lava.All over France, many of Michelin’s glazed lava orientation signs first installed some 150 years ago can still be seen.The original art nouveau Paris Metro signs were also made from glazed lava, and several of the original signs still grace the entrances to some Metro stations. Today, artists and artisans continue to be inspired to create artworks from Volvic lava stone.