Ceramic or porcelain, mosaic or large-format, rectified or squared, tile is a clay canvas for not only original expressions, but also for convincing imitations of natural materials. Here’s a sampling of new products.
Design Tale Studio / DTS
Fossil is a hand-drawn illustration, inspired by prehistoric imprints of plants and animals on rock formations. The collection was designed by Kasia Zareba, the winner of the manufacturer’s Create Your Own Tile competition. The 24-inch by 24-inch porcelain tiles are available in beige, brown, and grey and five patterns.
Tierras is a visually rich collection of tiles designed by Patricia Urquiola with a definite nod to nature and ceramics’ humble beginnings. Inspired by the look and feel of terra cotta and lava, Tierras comes in two complementary lines. One is the Industrial line (shown) of unglazed homogenous porcelain stoneware in six colors, two geometric decors, and a range of formats and transversal cuts, allowing for the creation of irregular forms and unique compositions for floors and walls. The other family, called Artisanal, is a series of three-dimensional surfaces made of extruded natural terra cotta. Roof tiles, bricks, hollow bricks, and partition walls are metaphorically undone and unstructured, only to be reinterpreted in a new way. In six earth tones, ranging from browns to blues.
In nature, stone is a living, changing organism. Over time, it accumulates layers of sediment, which may be variegated or homogeneous in color and composition. This collection of porcelain color-through tile is rated for indoor and outdoor use. In three colorways and ten sizes, including bullnose trim and mosaic.
Clé introduces the Rorschach Tile Collection, designed by Paul Simmons and Alistair McAuley of Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties. The Rorschach Tile Collection is composed of five designs that are hand-lithographed on 12-inch by 12-inch limestone or thassos marble tiles. Inspired by traditional 9th-century damask motifs, Timorous Beasties have integrated the classic pattern with Rorschach conceptual imagery. The combination of a familiar medieval motif and a modern blotch-pattern believed to unlock the subconscious has resulted in subversive floral abstractions. Simmons and McAuley use hand drawing, marbling, and puddles of ink to achieve their new damask imagery. “These tile patterns are a reversal of the expected,” says Simmons. “Blotches, splats, and drips are normally regarded as disordered accidents. By re-contextualizing the damask and using it as a vehicle to carry Rorschach-esque symmetrical imagery, we have created beauty out of something conventionally repellent.”
A compelling mix of concrete and encaustic looks in a high performance porcelain tile, the Soula line has aesthetic applications in both contemporary and historical settings.
Available in a dynamic color range that invites creativity, the Edge collection offers three modular options, including the largest handmade tile on the market: 3-inches by 9-inches, 3-inches by 18-inches, and 6-inches by 18-inches. Precisely cut, the tiles are installed with minimal, 1/8-inch grout spacings, resulting in a smooth, continuous polished look for walls, floors, or countertops. Rated for indoor and outdoor use, Edge is made of more than 70 percent recycled content: Clay, glass, waste porcelain, spent abrasives, and granite dust. A gradient color palette of twelve matte finishes is inspired by the hues found in natural stones and minerals.