As readers of Diary of a Tile Addict will already be aware, I am a huge fan of Ceramiche Lea, and rank this Italian producer as one of the world’s finest. As well as leading the way in many design directions over the past couple of decades, Lea’s creative and production team always seem to go that extra mile when it comes to the critical details that distinguish a great tile from a merely good tile.
Coverings saw impressive displays of several Lea ranges including Waterfall, a collection that realistically and physically represents slate. Recreating, on the stoneware surface the iridescence typical of sedimentary rocks, Waterfall has impressive textures, irregularities and variations in colour. The latter, drawing on the grey scale, vary from the darkest tone, dark flow, to the lightest, ivory flow, recalling the natural oxidation process of the stone.
I have already written about the outstanding Trame collection on numerous occasions, but it was still great to see it again. Trame is a composite project because it brings colours, materials, and shapes together in perfect harmony. Three basic tactile effects – Plaster, Matter, Canvas – reinterpret three different textures, both visually and through the sense of touch. Plaster recreates a soft, structured surface with iridescent effects that precisely reproduce a trowel effect; it is suitable for elegant and modern spaces. Matter is a representation of thin, grainy, spatula- spread, opaque, and coarse cement that is nevertheless easy-to-clean. It is suitable for outdoor use or in post-industrial spaces. Canvas features a fine texture paired with moderate opacity and a delicate graphic design.
Trame breaks the usual boundaries of base-tile/decor, because the richness of the 18 available surfaces allows for the three colors to be combined, using a mixture of the three patterns, or a combination of the formats, or both. The variation of the tactile surfaces is in perfect balance with the soft nuances of color and the pleasing nature of the structures, creating a dynamic play of shapes and geometries.
Trame is a unique and flexible project that broadens the range of visual and tactile sensations. It deceives, it surprises, and and it makes the viewer smile and think.
However, for this post, I want to draw attention to Filigrane, the latest range from Lea designed by Philippe Nigro. This design is based on a regular geometric pattern of iridescent effects that extends outwards randomly like the characteristic veining of fine marble. Or, to be accurate, as the image of those veins.
Filigrane is all about exploring that fascinating area between what is real and what is fake. The designs are illusory and destabilising. They use a superimposition that is veiled, transparent and obviously fake, and yet, nevertheless, creates the appearance of an authentic material … even though it is not a material that can be found in nature and has been obtained through an advanced technological process.
I like it! In fact, I love it!
Further coverage of the design trends at Coverings 2017 can be found in Tile & Stone Journal May 2017, Pages 48-65, or online at www.tileandstonejournal.com.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, April 2017.