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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tile of Spain, Cevisama 2015: Technological advances in Porcelain tile

Having just come back from Spain as a guest of Tile of Spain, I am filled with inspiration. I traveled with an amazing group of architects, designers and journalists to Seville and Valencia; where we were immersed in the local culture and learned firsthand about the architecture, design language, cuisine and how ceramics is the lifeblood that flows through both cities. Walking both cities, I captured hints of ceramica on facades of buildings, stairs, doorways, under balconies, inside courtyards and embedded within cobblestone city streets. See some of the amazing patterns:

Each narrow street uncovers new surprises and I felt the history and now understand how modern Spanish tile manufacturers like Peronda, Natucer, Vives Ceramica today are deeply rooted in a tradition of artisanal practice. 

Hints of Ceramica in Valencia and Seville

At the Cevisama trade show in Valencia, I learned about the advanced technological trends in tile - Porcelain tile is impersonating natural stone, cement and wood so well with an ink jet system. Creativity, Flexibility and Innovation describes this ink-jet evolution allowing you to print on textured, embossed and extruded surfaces; providing added interest and depth. See some of the trends that are evolving in porcelain:

Vintage: Porcelain tile by Aparici replicates the look of vintage silk rugs. Beautiful!

Charred wood: The World Wood series by Vives Ceramica simulates the look of Shou-Sugi-Ban wood, which is a Japanese method which involves torching wood and building materials. Each porcelain plank is printed but it feels and looks like the real thing! Cutting edge!

Porcelain Brick: Boston Brick by Natucer has the essence of handmade brick but with the advantages of an extruded porcelain stoneware. The brick has an industrial but nostalgic feel at the same time. Great for indoor or outdoor. Love the outside corner!

Geometric shapes: a wide range of formats and textures such as hexagons, 3D hex, honeycombs, and Moroccan shapes shown in wood, concrete, and terracotta materials. So realistic!

Natucer (top row and bottom left) and Vives Ceramica (bottom right)

Bendable porcelain: the development of thin tile allows new wall materials to bend in different directions. Aparici is exploring new patterns breaking from the normal idea of tile for bathrooms, and kitchens. Innovative!

Three dimensional porcelain: Peronda collaborates with Mut Design to highlight the edges of porcelain. The color palette includes neon green, bink and blue. Love!

Graphic: Aparici is also showing artistic expression in tiles with a comic book and pop flavor.

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