A tile and stone feast for the eyes

by Darren
A tile and stone feast for the eyes

WALLS & ROOFS brings you an update in tile trends from Cersaie, as well as the latest stone and marble fashions from Marmomacc.


A tile trend update from Cersaie and the latest stone and marble fashions from Marmomacc

Each year, the Cersaie International Exhibition in Bologna brings together some of the biggest names in architecture, as well as the latest tiling technologies and design concepts/ ideas for application, and 2015 was no different. Here is a selection of highlights:

Ceramic wallpaper
Inspired by soft furnishings, wallpaper and sophisticated textures, these tiles feature a uniquely textured surface and realistic fibre look. In moving away from pure minimalism, they provide original and creative decorative design options.

Timeless natural materials
There is still a big focus on incorporating natural elements, and this year’s exhibition again showcased materials and colours linked to plants, the earth, wood, water, stone and metal – taking inspiration from nature. Adding contemporary interpretations, these tiles feature unconventional sizes, finishes and decorative elements, and also contain recycled content.

Decorative panels
An unconventional and creative but stylish way to spruce up interior design and wall coverings, these tiles can serve as artworks in various sizes. From photographic images to graffiti and street art, the possibilities are endless.

Ventilated cladding
Developed for cladding building exteriors, fine porcelain stoneware is applied as ventilated and glued facades.

Playing with technicques
Created with different technologies and techniques, new collections include sophisticated coverings made of glass, marble or precious materials, complex geometric effects and three-dimensionality. Mosaics are combined with large inserts, gold leaf tesserae and decorative surfaces. Also on show were large art pieces covering entire walls to set a certain mood.

Using digital processing equipment and computerised design, ceramic material is innovatively shaped by cutting, folding and bending, in line with the origami design trend. In addition, ultra-thin, large-format ceramic tiles are being continuously researched and advanced.

Mosaics with strong pictorial effect
Staying true to each theme, these collections display naturalistic, figurative artistic mosaics that form a complete picture.

Natural stone innovations at Marmomacc

Celebrating its 50th year, the Marmomacc Trade Fair showcased impressive Italian stone processing technologies and experimental applications. As part of the Italian Stone Technology & Design Conference, two international delegations of about 100 operators and buyers and around 100 designers and architects had the opportunity to attend training on the use of “Made in Italy” stone as well as learn about machining technologies.

One of the highlights was the Digital Lithic Design Exhibition by Raffaello Galiotto, a collection of 11 experimental marble works that illustrated the potential of technological advances together with conventional and digital design.

Acus: A kind of armour sprinkled with pointed, slanted elements. Processing involved diamond disc cuts on a five-axis milling machine following precise 3D machining paths. The delicacy of the tips was achieved by the precision of the device that cuts and polishes the surfaces simultaneously to avoid the need for subsequent finishing operations.

Bicefalo: Interpreting the pretext of animal morphology, this work was made with numerical control milling passes with a spherical tool. The automatic “graphics” of the machine, which is usually eliminated by manual polishing, becomes the characteristic aspect of the work.

Cacto: Marble polishing following the three-dimensional milling-cutting operations is usually performed by hand, but this work experiments with the possibility of polishing the surface directly on the machine by using dedicated tools and processing paths without any manual input.

Glomus: This project involved the continuous three-dimensional milling of a complex surface. As in a ball of wool, comprising a single, continuous thread, the tool rests on the rough surface and process the surface through to finishing without ever losing contact.

Lamellatum: These enveloping, triangular spires have been created on a single marble block using a five-axis milling machine with a diamond blade. Each V-shaped passage was obtained by running a blade set at opposite angles on the same path twice, smooth and even, without further sanding.

Leucon: The difficulty with this double-spaced permeable wall was creating the undercut area. After developing the contoured double-sided surface, undercutting operations were performed using a special tool with a broader head which entered every single opening in a diagonal direction with a rotating movement that made it possible to process apparently inaccessible gaps.

Lisca: A diamond-cutting disc was used to make two cuts over each curving path with opposite slants. This produced V-shaped grooves that intersect with the rear surface to create a network that allows light to pass through it.

Litocorno: In addition to its formal virtuosity, this work offered a challenge in terms of saving material and energy. Thanks to careful design and the use of five-axis Waterjet cutting technology, a work piece of only 60cm high was transformed into a grooved, sinuous, twisted and hollow cone of 6m high, comprising 100 superimposed monolithic rings.

Micete: A diamond wire mounted like a bow on an articulated robotic arm was used to create this work. The device’s extraordinary rotation and tilting features made it possible to achieve undulating, deformed-spiral cutting. The surface finish is achieved directly during the cut without requiring subsequent manual finishing.

Corteccia: The long, perforated double-trumpet element was developed by diamond wire cutting on a ten-axis device. The binary path of the cutting wire automatically generated the curved, cross-slotted surface and the perforation arising from internal cuts. The interior was created by inserting the wire into a previously drilled hole.

Quadrilobo: Diamond wire cutting was repeated four times on a monolithic block to create this work. The design and cutting paths were developed using 3D software, allowing control and optimisation of paths by anticipating the results and avoiding the testing waste.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.cersaie.it, Ariana Ceramica, Flaviker, ABK, Fincibec Engineering, Sicis and Digital Lithic Design for the information given to write this article.

In this article: Highlights from Cersaie and Marmomacc:
–    Ceramic wallpaper.
–    Timeless natural materials.
–    Decorative panels.
–    Ventilated cladding.
–    Technological innovation.
–    Mosaics with strong pictorial effect.
–    Experimental marble works created with innovative technologies.

You may also like