Transcluent Backstage tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari

Translucent Tile Sensation

Transcluent Backstage tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari
Transcluent Backstage tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari

One of Brazil’s foremost tile manufacturers, Ceramica Portinari has a long record of innovation and commercial success.  This proud record was continued at Bologna this year, not at Cersaie itself but in a solo exhibition at a hotel nearby.  Here intrepid seekers of tile innovation, like Tile Addict, did not leave empty handed … far from it.

Backstage decor tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari
Backstage decor tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari

So, what to choose?  Well, it has to be Backstage.  This range, which comes in three colours – white, taupe and tartan – and two formats 600 by 1,200mm and 800 by 800mm, brings to mind the subtle surface sculpting and deliberate imperfections of Mutina’s ground-breaking Déchirer range.   And, as all fellow Tile Addicts will know, Déchirer is one of my favourite tile ranges of all time; so this is a good thing.

Backstage tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari
Backstage tile, 600 by 1,200mm, by Ceramica Portinari

With Backstage, the design conceit is to get across in tile the concept of being behind the scenes in a theatre, where the spectacle is prepared and the magic really happens.  Here the cast and crew get ready, leaving no detail unchecked in order to present a perfect show.  This collection is designed to play a similar role as the backdrop for spectacular spaces.  It is an unglazed porcelain range with a lapato finish and offers surprising effects when lit.

 

However, Backstage can also be the star itself.  It is also available in a wonderful fully-translucent option. As you may expect, this tile is eye-wateringly expensive, but it also works.  I cannot recall seeing another normally proportioned tile, with a seemingly normal tile body, that actually transmits light like this.  The secret is a very exclusive body preparation.  And, it remains a secret. Tile Addict may have witnessed the LED lit examples in the Bologna hotel display, but the Portinari team were keeping tight-lipped about the technical specification.  And I don’t blame them.  This is a great product and I can see designers going wild for it as a bar front, retail display, hotel reception area, nightclub attraction, etc.  It would also suit more contemplative spaces: entrance halls, panels, worktops and furniture applications, such as coffee tables.

ceramicaportinari.com.br

A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, December 2017.

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