The True Power of the Ceramic Medium Expressed in the Tile of Spain Companies Showcase of New Collections
Ryan Fasan, Tile of Spain Technical Consultant, said recently, “The true power of the ceramic medium is the same as it’s always been; it’s inert and immutable once fired; it’s impervious and hygienic; it’s easy to sanitize and asks very little of us but provides so much strength and value to our lives and the life of the buildings we choose to grace with it.”
This month, Spanish companies traveled to Italy last month to showcase their latest collections at Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings. The annual event brings together architects, interior designers, and tile producers to explore the latest innovations and trends in the ceramic tile sector.
As Europe’s number one producer and second exporter of ceramics, Spain is a regular participant at the show. This year, 81 Spanish companies presented their latest ceramic offerings during the weeklong fair. The contingent of Spanish ceramic manufacturers represented the second largest group of exhibitors, behind Italy. New trends, formats and technologies from Spain were showcased. Here’s a small sample for your design considerations.
While white marbles still reign supreme, more compelling crystallines like Macchia Vecchia and others join the likes of Calacatta and Statuary. The zealous and fierce stone look of the past will take a back seat to the refined spectrum of the marbleized-look. This new approach retains the organic variation of a veined stone with an overall aesthetic that is more homogenic with a symphony of texture, finish and effects.
Keeping pace with polarized marble is terrazzo, but with a broader range of chipped materials embedded in a largely monochrome matrix. With multi-colored inlays in varying degrees of chromatic variation, these aggregate collections work with marbles, woods and traditional ceramics alike. Drawing on the myriad of tones in the inset chips as color and material references, this decorated motif invites designers to add layers to their compositions while keeping a cohesive feel.
Art deco influences are here in the form of arches and rounded corners. A nod to organic shapes while retaining the straight grid-lines of a tile matrix, these curves bring a sense of whimsy and approachability to even the most austere and luxurious aesthetics.
The rise of earth tones is expanding to include all ranges of warm-inspired hues; from deep neutral browns to warm greys and off-whites. These warmer tones lean into accompanying the raw and minimal timber looks that have grown in strength over the past few years, adding layers of texture for an inviting feel. Earth-tones tip the scale to the warm side while accent colors continue to favor cooler greens and blues.
Interchangeable, multi-format programs lean into the need to create flex spaces at times and define our boundaries at others, a task that can otherwise be difficult with a minimalist modern grid. The modular format creates blurred lines that allows for reconfiguring a space as needed for multiple use-cases.
Crisp & Clean
During this new era of ceramic design, a more delicate approach will run parallel with artisanal textures and organic materials. Smooth compositions, hushed textures and minimalistic patterns will lend a sense of balance. The seeming dissonance in style serves to highlight and praise differences by showcasing unlikely pairings throughout designs and the harmony that can be found.
With digital technology progressing to a point that multiple finishes, structure and volumes can be digitally applied, the industry is circling back to some intriguing classics from centuries past. Ceramics that aren’t trying to mimic anything, instead honoring the rich and artisanal history of this material and industry such as weathered edges, classic glaze techniques and traditional patterns. This celebration of ceramic roots plays beautifully with all the preceding trends and is the perfect harmonic accompaniment to it all.
About Tile of Spain
In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises of over 110 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Call 305-446-4387