Ceramics of Italy: The hottest tile trends at Cersaie

At the end of September, the tile illuminati descended upon Bologna, Italy to attend what’s become known as the Milan furniture fair of ceramics. The 32nd edition of Cersaie proved to be a hotbed of inspiration, serving up a visual feast of pattern, color and geometry. With a close eye on the show, Ceramics of Italy rounded up their favorite trends from Cersaie 2014. Which of these trends do you think will have a presence at Coverings 2015?
Among the abundance of graphic tiles at Cersaie, many companies turned to the world of comics and pop art to create playful collections of functional wall art. Imola and Ascot paid tribute to the kings of pop art, Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, while Del Conca presented animated characters from the popular Japanese manga series, Lupin the 3rd.

Tile tributes to the kings of pop art were all over Cersaie.
While some companies focused on luxurious white marble such as calacatta, carrara and statuario, others continued to expand their marble lines to include creamy tones of travertine and darker hues like Saint Laurent and Berimbau. In addition, novel shapes (hexagon and chevron), overlaid designs and three-dimensional surfaces (pillowed edges and linear folds) were added to the mix.

From luxurious to three-dimensional surfaces, tile makers brought marble into a new light.
In terms of shapes, it was undoubtedly the year of the hexagon (something Coverings Ambassador. Alena Capra, spotted during her trip too!). A far cry from traditional hexagonal tiling, this new crop includes macro and micro sizes, rhombille tiling effects, irregular cutouts, and encaustic, concrete, marble, wood and brick designs.
Innovative mosaics were everywhere – from playing with the dimensions of traditional penny, hexagon and brick mosaics to introducing completely new formats such as linear, diamond and organic shaped tesserae.
The inherent charm and beauty of encaustic cement tiles from the turn of the 19th century inspired many collections at the fair. Putting a modern spin on the classic tiles, some were overlaid onto concrete, terra cotta and stone designs while others presented crisp or fading patterns.

A modern spin on classic cement tiles reminds us of 19th century architecture – or an M.C. Escher.
Although the entire color spectrum could be found at Cersaie – from dusty hues to vibrant pop colors – there was a significant return to classic black and white with added effects such as fading reliefs and op art graphics.
Coinciding with the romanticism of industrial spaces, many companies showcased metallized tiles exhibiting the sheen of platinum and bronze or the weathered effects of rusted steel and oxidized copper.
The world’s forests are a continual source of inspiration for tile manufacturers who continue to explore new frontiers in ceramic wood. While some companies are inspired by the charming imperfections and character of rustic and recycled lumber, others are drawn to special techniques – such as charring – or adding a polished or glazed finish for a touch of sophistication and glamour.