I think I’ve spotted a business opportunity: tile tourism. If you’ve already scanned my posts on Salernes in France or Deruta in Italy, you will quickly see that it is possible to combine a trip to some of the most beautiful holiday destinations on the planet, with a highly enjoyable ceramic-centred experience.
So, if you are ever on holiday in Umbria – and there are a million reasons why this is a great idea – why not take a detour to the beautiful medieval hill top town of Todi? There you will find Opificio Tiberina, the HQ and showroom for the emerging Italian interior style sensation Palazzo Morelli.
The building itself is an interesting example of Umbrian industrial archaeology and has been completely restored and renovated as the company’s offices. In this location this creative company designs products, selects materials, perfects surfaces and creates amazing interior designs.
Palazzo Morelli was founded by Alessandro Ortenzi to deliver the finest Italian quality, attention to detail and interior innovation. Today the firm offers turn-key solutions and a complete catalogue of Italian surfaces; with terracotta sitting alongside marble and other stones, onyx and semi-precious stones, mother-of-pearl and wood.
The terracotta options are beautiful. The unglazed range is everything you would expect of high-end terracotta: patina, subtle surface imperfections, choice of shapes and formats. But I want to concentrate on the glazed terracotta portfolio, in which many of the ranges are artfully combined with complimentary materials.
Triangoli is an elegant geometric design that plays with the interaction between different colours. Here the terracotta is hand-made and fired in a traditional wood-burning kiln according to the best Italian tradition. Gold inserts give a luxury touch and light up the composition whether Tringoli is used as a flooring or as a wall panelling.
Pop is design with a sense of fun and is an obvious tribute to 1960’s pop culture. It affords designers great freedom because the colourful glazed tiles can be mixed and matched in so many ways. In this range the Kaolin bisque is hand-made and, once again, fired in a traditional wood-burning kiln.
Argentario is an elegant mosaic of glazed terracotta and gold inserts.
Centro is a white matt terracotta, with glazed and azul macaubas inserts. The resultant pattern harmoniously matches Medieval inspiration and modernity due to the subtle interaction between the different colours and materials. Centro is also available in combinations of terracotta, wood and metal.
Mini Gradara is a hexagonal terracotta form delivered in a really striking combination of Plum, Bordeaux, White and Gold colours.
Spina combines natural terracotta and resin to create an elegant geometric pattern that enhances the interaction between different colours.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2017.