During Milan Design Week 2017, Fornace Brioni presented two collections designed by Cristina Celestino, the new art director of the brand, revealing the new phase for the historic Mantua-based company. The history of earthenware, crafted exclusively by hand using the finest clays that have slowly settled on the Po River flood plain, has been reinterpreted by Celestino to investigate new aesthetic potentialities.

The material, which Fornace Brioni produces in a range of different versions – from homogeneous to variegated to glazed, from red and rose tones all the way to the models in grey and black – is interpreted in a contemporary spirit, bringing out its forceful, unique personality. Drawing on the charm connected with the Renaissance legacy of earthenware, Celestino has worked on geometry and bas reliefs, sizing and combinations of tiles, in a way that is utterly innovative for this material, exploring the subtle boundary between crafts and design.

“Giardino all’Italiana” is the first collection created by Cristina Celestino for Fornace Brioni, rethinking the traditional character of earthenware and exploring its potential in expressive terms. The world of cotto and that of formal gardens meet in the shared idea of “designing nature”: in both cases, a totally natural material is shaped by man in the least spontaneous dimension possible: that of geometry.

With the “Gonzaga” collection, Celestino creates a temporal short circuit through timeless motifs reprised for the first time in earthenware. The theme is that of the “studiolo” depicted in 15th-century painting, through a paradigm of penetrations of perspective, games of light and shadow, draperies.

 

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[Images courtesy of Fornace Brioni.]

 

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