For Lea Ceramiche creativity is the daily tool that opens new ways to production of porcelain stonewear. From this premise comes the new collaboration with Philippe Nigro, a French designer who works in both France and Italy.  The union of the two respective cultures has led Philippe to study and experimentation and lends a design and inspirational personality to his work.

Read below an interview on his project Filigrane for Lea Ceramiche

The Italian word filigrane [watermarks, filigree] makes us think of the patient, precise work of goldsmithing or the complexity of the transparent patterns that were once incorporated into paper, and are still included in banknotes to guarantee their authenticity and safeguard against counterfeiting. How does that word filigrane relate to your project?

I wanted to go beyond the concept of imitation and try to give it a different definition. So quite openly, I have been playing with ideas that are associated with what is fake, but freeing that word from any negative connotations it might have. This material is not fake; it’s much more than that. Its geometric and natural texture can be interpreted in two different ways, which is only possible precisely because it’s ceramic and not natural stone. The technical capabilities of this “fake” material – for example its large sizes, its strength, its weight, its minimal thickness – are all impossible to obtain with marble, and are the justification of a new real.

Art is not only interested in imitation, the double, the original and the copy; it has always also worked with the relationships and the crosstalk between the natural and the artificial. And the same arguments have also influenced the history of design. Have they been influential on your own approach to your work?

I went back through history to look again at mimetic art and at what was happening with trompe-l’oeil during the Renaissance or in the 19th century. Then I came back up to the 1930s and 1940s when, for example, patterns were used to simulate marble for decorating the hallways and staircases of buildings. I wanted to get right to the bottom of this concept of illusion, and take it to an extreme. I also wanted to raise questions about a material that is beautiful. I enjoyed the process, but I’ll leave the interpretations to the individual sensibilities of others.

You also evoke the same opposition in your “In Transition” display installation. Is it a provocation? Or is it a way of helping people to understand Filigrane?

In a faintly ironic way, my concept for the display brings to completion the marblenot- marble circular sequence. The different types of stone are all fake, and they are also all innovative. Displaying them in protective wooden frames, and using the paper that’s normally used for packaging marble, gives the impression of marble blocks and slabs when they are stored in a quarry or a warehouse. But whilst the marble blocks and slabs would be waiting to be processed, Filigrane is waiting to be found out for what it really is.

Please note that this website uses “session cookies” to enhance the internet experience, as well as "cookies analysis" for data analysis and "third party cookies". You can get more details and block all or some of these cookies, on the detailed information link (click here). If you continue with the navigation on this site, it is implied that you express your consent to the use of these cookies.
Shipping and logistics are still operational.

Italy, as well as many other countries around the world, is engaged in an aggressive battle against the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In order to keep the number of infections to a minimum, the Italian government has declared the temporary and limited closure of many manufacturing industries.

Nevertheless, certain activities related to the supervision of continuous production plants, such as the ones used in ceramic tile manufacturing, together with the preparation and shipping of stock materials have been permitted.

Therefore our warehouses and shipment departments remain fully operational, in full respect of the recent regulations imposed by the relevant authorities. Our staff will therefore continue to prepare and load merchandise, observing all of the necessary health and safety precautions.

Thanks to the remote working technologies that have already been implemented, all other sales supporting activities as well as your commercial and administrative contacts remain available, as always, to handle your requests.

We therefore wish to inform you that even during this manufacturing standstill, it is still possible to place orders, consult stock availability, request information, and pick up goods from our warehouses.