Collaboration with Alejandro Zaera in Aiuchi, Japan

Toni Cumella: Ceramic Visionary

There is no particular reason why I am dedicating today’s post to Toni Cumella.  This is not an obituary, nor has one of his many stunning projects just opened.  But Tile Addict, as well as covering design trends in the commercial tile world, also aims to celebrate  those rare individuals who have the ability to alter our perception of what tile is, and what it can be.  And this morning I woke up thinking about the work of Toni Cumella: a true ceramic visionary.  And then I wondered if there was anyone among Tile Addict’s 18,500+ followers who were not aware of this inspirational pioneer.  If so, read on.

Toni Cumella at work in his studio
Toni Cumella at work in his studio

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4 thoughts on “Toni Cumella: Ceramic Visionary

  1. I LOVE that you chose to do a feature on Toni Joe! He has been a personal hero of mine since I was a kid. He and his son are two of the most knowledgeable and personable people I have ever met in this amazing industry. His workshop is packed with glaze studies, ceramic exploratory projects and reference samples from three generations of Cumellas and staggeringly inspiring.

    If anyone that reads this is planning a trip to the Barcelona area, give yourself the gift of contacting Toni’s workshop for a visit. Be forewarned, bring a wheel barrow to pick your jaws up off the floor!

    1. Ryan. That means a lot, coming from a fellow Tile Addict and one so steeped in ceramic tradition. If you, or any other followers of the blog, have any suggestions for other tile heroes like Toni Cumella who deserve to have the spotlight trained in their direction, I’m all ears. Cheers! Joe

  2. Delighted to read this. Toni is an absolute legend in the world of architectural ceramics (probably the king). Compared to the conservative and sometimes downright drab products of many other producers, everything Toni produces is vibrant, exciting, expressive, usually weird and always wonderful. I regularly speak publicly on architectural ceramics and am a consultant to architects on the matter, and I always show Cumella’s work and it always receives sighs of delight! It’s as if the spirit of Catalunya and the Balearic peninsula as a whole explodes from his work. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and his son Guillem several times over. They say don’t meet your heroes (and that’s usually good advice!) but in Toni you couldn’t meet a nicer bloke!

    1. I was in Spain earlier this week to visit a hotel right next to the market in Barcelona that boasts Toni’s fabulous multi-coloured roof. It still looks great after several years. Finally a good reason for living in a high rise city centre apartment, Joe

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