A Cornucopia At Cersaie
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 1/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Forget spaghetti bolognese. For a few days each fall, the famed pasta that originated in Bologna, Italy, is overshadowed by the feast of Cersaie, the largest tile fair in the world. This year, 1,030 manufacturers participated. And trend spotters had a field day.
For starters, there were tiles that were dead ringers for materials other than ceramic. Settecento's Crocotile looks exactly like leather. Kerex's Kerpaper could be linen. La Faenza's Nouvelle is trompe l'oeil wood.
Graphics also had a big presence. For Bardelli's Bodypark collection, Nigel Coates platinum-printed details of human anatomy on tiles 8 inches square. Diego Grandi's witty Studies collection incorporates drawings of such domestic items as a bathroom sink and mirror. Bisazza had Marco Braga design Corallo, mosaic coral branches. And the Sicis stand was a menagerie of mosaic lions, panthers, and apes. Oh my.
Botanicals flourished, too. The startling red blossoms of Impronta Italgraniti's porcelain Rhus Le Leche pattern are distinctly Asian, while chiaroscuro camellias abound in Emilceramica's serigraph-printed Madison. The floor, walls, and ceiling at the showstopping Rex Ceramiche Artistiche stand were clad in Le Rythme de l'Ombre, Maria Luisa Brighenti's porcelain squares with leaf-shape cutouts filled with frosted glass.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was the mod squad. One op art star was Etruria Design's glazed-ceramic Optical, with its black-and-white nesting squares.
There were tiles great and small. Heavyweights included Provenza's 3-by-10-foot Endless series and Graniti Fiandre's 2-foot squares glazed the colors of Italian race cars. On the micro side, Claudio Silvestrin designed the 1/4-inch mosaic square I Frammenti for Brix.
Grout plays a role in Ceramica di Treviso's slender shardlike I Murazzi tiles, which resemble Japanese raku-glazed pottery. Antiche Fornaci d'Agostino's glazed Fusioni stays spiritually closer to home, with lava stone from the Amalfi coast.
Project-specific tile rounded out the show. Massimiliano Fuksas devised the metallic-glazed porcelain strips of Sculpture, a Cerdomus collection, for a media center in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Del Conca hired architects Barbara Agnoletto and Laura Mascino to develop a tile that's frost- and slip-resistant, ridged to facilitate draining, and heavy enough to withstand auto traffic for an Italian-style piazza in earthquake-ravaged Kobe, Japan.