The Ceramic Tile Center of the Italian Trade Commission in New York and the Campania Region of Italy recently announced their collaboration on a special project. The initiative brings together 12 of the region’s leading producers of ceramic tile under the brand Campania Tiles. Targeted at US interior designers, architects, distributors and discerning end-consumers, the campaign aims to raise awareness and promote the use of these distinctive, artistic tiles in the American market.
Located in Southern Italy, Campania is well known for its breathtaking coastline and stunning ceramic tile installations including the Dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Postiano, the floor of San Michele in Anacapri, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Amalfi and the chapel of Pappacoda in S. Giovanni Maggiore in Naples; to name a few. These applications are a testament to the area’s rich history of tile production. Ceramics is one of Campania’s leading business sectors. Produced in the districts of Vietri, San Lorenzello, Ariano Irpino, Cerreto Sannita and Cava de’ Tirreni, these tiles are beloved around the world and are one of the region’s most treasured exports.
Campania’s distinct designs and signature vivid tones stand out. They reflect the traditional Neapolitan and Vietrese decorations from the 15th and 16th centuries and illustrate solar and religious motifs as well as scenes inspired by the sea. Other popular designs include oriental patterns, decors of plants and flowers, geometric shapes and marble-like effects. Tiles from this region boast rich blues, greens, oranges, whites, yellows and ruddy browns that reflect the tones of the Mediterranean and the Amalfi Coast. The vibrant hues are also influenced by the Arab and Moorish cultures.
The main techniques utilized in the manufacturing process are almost exclusively manual. In addition to handmade specialties, companies offer customized ceramics and one-of-a-kind products. They also use production processes that fuse ancient techniques such as lathe, with modern technology to develop their wares. A number of new introductions are the result of experimentation with different glazes and mixes and partnerships with international architects and designers such as Antonio Franchini, Riccardo Dalisi, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Irene Kowaliska.
Many of Campania’s tile companies are family-owned businesses. From a husband and wife team who preserve the centuries-long tradition of handmade tiles to an ancestral history that dates back to the middle of the 17th century, each have their own unique story. One common thread is their ability to create colorful, artistic ceramic tiles that honor the culture and heritage of the region.
An event entitledArtistic Tiles from the Region of Campaniawas held on November 28th to kick off the promotion of these stunning tiles. The evening featured a stellar panel of speakers including: Dr. Massimo Bignardi, Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Siena; Edie Cohen, Deputy Editor ofInterior Design; and Anna Marie Fanelli, Vice President and Designer of Floor & Décor, who discussed Campania’s rich history, culture and design. The seminars were followed by a cocktail reception where attendees were able to sample traditional food from the region and view tiles from each company.
For more information, log ontowww.italytile.com. To learn more about the 12 manufacturers who are taking part in this project, visit their respective sites.