MANTUA, Italy — Check out these beautiful handmade tiles by Fornace Brioni. Designed by the Mantua-based company’s new art director Cristina Celestino, the two terracotta collections featured at Milan Design Week (April 18 – 22, 2017) employ graphic classical motifs and designs.
Celestino’s first collection for the company, ‘Giardino all’Italiana,’ draws upon a formal Italian gardenscape, which appears to artfully exploit terracotta’s natural aesthetic forming it into artificial geometric designs. Even so, each design references its former life featuring nature-inspired motifs, including meadows, shrubs and trees.
‘Giardino all’Italiana’ is a geometric floor and wall tiles collection that mimics aerial garden landscapes, including row of trees and sculpted bushes. Apple green, baby pink and natural terracotta colors, the subtle bas reliefs are exclusively shaped by hand, alternating both with matte and shiny surfaces.
The tiles alternate and coordinate between scale, glaze and color to yield their distinct designs. Dusty shades of clay, mud, cipria powder and sand are coordinated with metallic tones of teal, salmon, whale grey and cerulean, while pinkish bas-relief graphics are exalted by crystalline, pale glazes in the shades of baby pink, pearl grey, cherry red and green apple, says Celestino.
“The idea of “designing nature” is something I have been contemplating for a while already. When I began working on this project, I noted a strange coincidence: Formal gardens in Italy came into vogue in the late Renaissance period, at the same time that variegated cotto became a fashionable material for flooring in Lombardy. Based on this affinity, I used the garden layout as a basis on which to style the project.”
With the ‘Gonzaga‘ collection, Celestino wanted to create a temporary short-circuit with timeless motifs, proposed for the first time in terracotta. Based upon 15th-century paintings and the architectural legacy of Mantua, the motifs harness perspective, shading, and architectural elements to create a markedly Renaissance feeling.
The distinctly classic elegance of the layouts are reminiscent of the old façades or floors in marble and wood of historic mansions and buildings, such as the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Sabbioneta, or the Ducal Palace of Mantua.
The handmade floorings and claddings of the collection ‘Giardino all’Italiana’ and ‘Gonzaga’ were featured during Milan Design Week (April 18 – 22, 2017). Celestino has also created the collection ‘Mosaico‘ for the company.
Images courtesy Fornace Brioni.
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