Volcanic Veneer

We’ve seen smoked tiles and metal glazes, explored iridescence and the inner-workings of the Pompeii mosaics, and now we have something completely different – volcanic ash glazed tiles.


Created from the collaboration between Formafantasma and Dzek comes the newest innovation of this historical material. One of the two founders of Formafantasma, Andrea Trimarchi, grew up in Sicily in the shadow of Mount Etna. This inspiring landscape has led the company to explore the design potential of volcanic lava, and they have been so doing since 2010. Together with architectural material producer Dzek, the totally retro, volcanic ash glazed tiles of ExCinere were born.


Growing on Formafantasma’s 2014 project, De Natura Fossilium, ExCinere is an exploration of this exciting material which is natural and self-generating, but also highly unpredictable. This unpredictability is due to the high metal oxide present in volcanic ash which led the companies through “three years of exploding, imploding, cracking and caving” before they reached the harmonious balance between the porcelain body, the glaze and the firing temperature needed to create ExCinere.


The tiles themselves benefit from the ash glaze with their organic appearance and varied texture and colours. Additionally, the companies sought to make a useful architectural product, utilising the ash collected from Mount Etna, taking advantage of its natural properties and demonstrating its potential.


ExCinere’s five volcanic glazes are created using varying densities, quantities, and particle sizes, resulting in subtle shade differences from light to dark and a surface that is speckled and unique. They are available in two sizes and are suitable for both wall and floor applications, indoors and out.

excinere dzek forafantasma italian volcanic ash glazed tiles


A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2019.

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