It is no secret to followers of tile addict that I am a huge admirer of Patrica Urquiola and also of Mutina, the design-led Italian tile brand. So when Urquiola creates a new range for Mutina, I await the results with keen interest. After all, it was this collaboration that resulted in what I judge to be one of the greatest tile ranges of all time, Déchirer.
The new range in question, Cover marks one of Urquiola’s first ventures with large ceramic slabs. The collection came about from an experimental project using the Continua Plus technology. Here, the clay is blended with a mixture of micro-grit, which is then used as a base for the coloured patterns applied using silk-screens. These may be irregular, figurative or geometric.
This technology was necessary in order to obtain a compact material with powders, grains and flakes, without the addition of colour or digital applications. To pursue this objective, Mutina has carried out specific research that makes Cover so unique in the field of large ceramic slabs.
In the basic version, the collection consists of unglazed porcelain stoneware, while the silk-screen decorated versions are glazed. Cover is available in the nominal sizes 1,200 by 2,400mm, 1,200 by 1,200mm, and 300 by 1,200mm: all rectified. Mutina recommends a joint of 2mm to achieve a perfectly modular layout.
“Déchirer is a timeless, revolutionary collection that breaks away from current trends and set contexts,” says Urquiola. “It is a collection that distinguishes the history of our collaboration. That’s why we have decided to revamp the collection, increasing the dimensions and reducing the thickness, also adding a colour I am particularly fond of: terracotta.”
“Déchirer is the beauty of being able to risk and not wanting to follow any rules. It’s the beauty of breathing air and interpreting it the way we want. We hope this goes beyond current trends. It also serves as a sort of abacus that might appeal to the sensitivity of the designers who use it, playing around with neutral shades, decorations and light, to create a personal vision,” she continues. “More than anything, however, it’s a plaster mould of the first prototypes that represent that magical moment in which you believe you have reached something.”
“With Cover, we began by working on large slabs, with the idea of creating a new type of material texture. Using a material that had already been conceived in the raw body, such as natural grit, a light mixture that could act as a base for slightly contrasting materials, with different patterns and modules applied with the silk-screen method. The irregular large patterns on the tiles are reminiscent of the variable landscape of the sky in which the clouds move around continuously,” she explains.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, December 2017.