hile ceramic tiling continues its evolution into larger formats, more accomplished surfaces, stronger materials and the thinnest models possible, one might want to take a look back to see if something was not lost in the great march towards perfection.
This happened to one of the sector’s oldest and most prominent companies, Marazzi Ceramiche, which presented Crogiolo, a collection inspired by the history and origins of the brand, just before the end of Cersaie 2019 (the main international ceramics trade show).
Crogiolo rediscovers the beauty of authentic ceramics. It’s a return to feelings from the past with an artisanal style and the marks of handwork which make each tile unique. It’s a coming together of artisanal know-how and advanced industrial technology, giving life to a collection with soul and a story to be told, one which won us over at first sight.
A crogiolo (a crucible) is a hermetically sealed container used to melt porcelain at high temperatures. For Marazzi “Crogiolo” is the history of the company, because it symbolizes the building where the first factory was built in the 1930s. The first workers pictured in 1936.
Throughout the years, with industrialization and new constructions, the old building became the company’s research and experimentation lab. Architects, designers, artists and photographers met there to experiment with ceramic.
Among the selection of Crogiolo products, for which a logo has been recently designed, there are four collections: Lume, Zellige, Scenario and D_Segni Blend. The first two were texturally inspired while the second ones were dedicated to graphic and geometrical designs. Zellige is inspired by the typical polished glazed Moroccan terracotta tiles from which it gets its name. As with the handmade majolica of the Fez region, the small industrial-produced Zellige ones have all the imperfections and irregularities that give them their appeal. They measure 10x10 cm and can be chosen from 12 colors in different textures and tonalities which one can freely mix.
Lume reinterprets handmade majolica bricks in stoneware in an original 6x24 cm format. Research on glazes and colors has allowed the creation of a polished industrial finish with haloes, irregularities, dots and chromatic variations that make each brick unique. Their straight edges allow for almost perfect laying.
The Crogiolo collections were born from a love for authentic ceramics and recreate, thanks to advanced production technologies, the effects of handwork which are, more than likely, lost and irrecoverable. It is in a certain sense the technological perfecting of human imperfection, and the result is a wonderous surprise.
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