Now that the first major tile fair of the year has come and gone I really can’t neglect the blog anymore. I’m sure you will forgive my protracted absence, with my travel schedule I find my new daughter so much more compelling than the LCD screen of my laptop- but I digress.

Cersaie, the international tile and bathroom fair in Bologna Italy came a week early this year and as usual didn’t disappoint. As the next couple weeks go on I will be doing my usual overview of trends and innovations but I thought I’d intersperse it this year with some manufacturer spotlights. The first of which is the trifecta of awesomeness that is Land, Aparici & Apavisa from Tile of Spain.

Last year, Land’s colossal basket-weave installation of warped slim porcelain drew nearly every eye at the show but Apavisa had the show-stopper this time. All three company booths featured the bent, stretched and warped material that has become an industry phenomenon as well as their dry-pressed & rectified Hexagonal tile. More on that material in an older posthere.

In a patented firing process the group is able to take tile to a new level. The magic of the kiln transforms the flat greenware bisque into a three-dimensional marvel. This process can be applied to any of the slim material produced by each company. Taking ceramics from a cladding material into true art installations.

In fact, this was the premise of Apavisa’s booth this year. The booth, titled "ART GALLERY," truly read like a beautifully staged and curated exhibition of modern art. From installations evoking sculptures to tapestries each area of the booth challenged the viewer to re-think the traditional hum-drum kitchen and bath installations of ceramic tile. Proposing ceramics to be exactly what they have become over the past few years -- art.

Amazing right? Let us know what you think.

And that's simply a few of the amazing shots I got from their booths at the show. I LOVE the opportunity to go to Cersaie every year. Many thanks go out to Tile of Spain for sending me there; these trips never fail to rekindle my passion for ceramics. Stay tuned for more on Cersaie 2011 and more manufacturer spotlights.