When it came to achingly beautiful tiles in all the current design trends, Coverings delivered in spades. The halls abounded in excellent examples of the latest in cement-, wood-, marble-, cotto-, and terrazzo-effects, plus a good smattering of geometrics, planks and modern metallics. Great products, but following predictable paths.
And then there was Ornamenta. This stand provided the real “Hello, boys!” moment in Altanta. Yes, it also referenced many of today’s design trends, but it did so with total brio, vivacity, commitment and passion.
Ornamenta is a brand of Gamma Due, one of Italy’s top tile studios. And it proclaims its Italian roots with obvious price. Founded by Davide Tonelli in 2013, Ornamenta weaves a vibrant tale of a manufacturing tradition allied to industrial excellence. The company specialises in the production of decorative surfaces, delivering a portfolio that is in constant evolution. It is one of the very few tile companies with the commercial courage to stay ahead of the pack, to take risks and to experiment. The result is the precise and perfect coexistence of technique and craftsmanship. Cutting-edge industrial processes are combined with painstaking workmanship to create utterly unique collections. Ornamenta exudes a passion for technology and a feeling for the material, based on creative freedom and a tailor-made approach to tile design.
Coverings saw the unveiling of Operae and XVIII; Ornamenta’s exploration of the world of large format decorative slabs. Operae is a collection that delivers refined and original artworks created using the latest technology. It underlines Ornamenta’s belief that customisation is a strategic driver to stand out on the global market. The company delivers both its own eye-catching designs or will produce tailor-made products, using the customer’s own drawings, via digital fabrication techniques. Operae can be seen as an investigation into colour and its innumerable gradations on large format slabs. Here colours are connected by metallic patterns to create surfaces with unique and original chromatic blends.
In the Squares design, modular square components are riffed to deliver an aesthetic that is suitable for both commercial and residential spaces. It is distinguished by a wide colour palette featuring monochrome and two-colour combinations.
Ultrapatterns is the triumph of décor. The design stages a multicoloured universe characterised by ultra-strong surfaces with a strong visual impact where graphics morph into a structural element.
Domestic Jungle offers clients the chance to decorate their walls with exotic prints and stylized textures, including plant motifs that nod to designs from the 1950s. The range features natural green hues that mitigate the stresses of modern life.
In Rugs, flat colour patterns produced using digital fabrication technology reproduce crisp fabric textiles that reflect Ornamenta’s deep commitment to colour and graphics.
Decò, as the name connotes, offers art-decò atmospheres inhabited by coloured geometric shapes. Here triangles, circles, and rectangles overlap creating walls with a vibrant personality.
Terrazzo picks up on the dominant theme in tiles today; but sweeps it off in unexpected directions. Ornamenta’s fresh interpretation is playful and patterned, with solid colour chips in tone-on-tone and multicoloured assemblages.
XVIII features four new collections that share a common material and graphic connection. They share ceramic tradition as a starting point but proceed to explore the contemporary possibilities of the material through the use of the most modern engineering. The key ingredients are attention to detail and forms that respond to the needs of contemporary architecture with micro and macro formats, and cutting-edge technologies. Mujo draws its inspiration from the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi: the beauty of imperfection. Founded on the transience of things, here impermanence assumes a positive meaning. Mujo is a terracotta produced in a recently-neglected format, 300 by 300mm, but one with a rich ceramic history. Ornamenta has used it to highlight the chromatic subtlety of the surfaces, a mix of compatible materials and colours that, when combined, produce a surface with an artisanal connotation but made by an industrial production.
Maiolicata is a ceramic take on grey lava stone that is treated in an artistic manner through the application of coloured granules and powders that texture the compact surface. The melting of the material at very high temperature creates a highly resistant surface suitable for use on walls and floors. The decorative textures are delivered in a 150 by 600mm plank that offers more modularity to the design.
Based on a 200 by 200mm square module, Terra Mia is a mediterranean-inspired ceramic collection that explores a material with a rich history – hand-painted ceramics – in a contemporary manner. It is available in six colour options and 12 different graphic patterns.
Finally, Manufatto is a range that features six colours in two shapes, smooth and diamond-cut, to create infinite compositional possibilities. More information about Operae and XVIII can be found at https://www.ornamenta.com
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2018.