Tiles glazed with volcanic ash

In collaboration with design studio Formafantasma, Dzek developed a collection of tiles, glazed with volcanic ash.

ExCinere, as the collection is called, is range of tiles for both interior and exterior surfaces, from kitchen counters and bathroom floors to architectural façade cladding.

Formafantasma has been researching the potential of volcanic stone since 2010. One of the founders, Andrea Trimarchi, grew up in Sicily against the backdrop of Mount Etna. Over the years, Trimarchi and co-founder Simone Farresin observed the impact of mass tourism on both the landscape and culture of Sicily. In an earlier project, they investigated the culture of lava in Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Italy, cumulating a collection of crafted glass, basalt, and textile works.

The ExCinere project further explores the application of lava, a natural-occurring, self-generating and abundant material. According to the studios, the glazed tiles make full use of volcanic stone’s material properties.

“Although Volcanic ash and basalt rock may appear inert, their high metal oxide content makes them complex and unpredictable to work with,” the studios say. “Three years of exploding, imploding, cracking and caving were endured before ExCinere’s careful balance of porcelain body, ash glazes, firing temperature and method was achieved.”

ExCinere is available in two sizes and five volcanic glazes. The various surfaces are created by mixing varying quantities, particle sizes and densities of volcanic matter, resulting in surfaces that are evocative of the dynamic landscape from which they come.

Dzek and Formafantasma presented the new collection in a landscape of tiled architectural elements Milan Design Week this year. The installation explored some of the many potential combinations and outcomes that the various formats and glazes allow.

Photos: Dzek / Formafantasma