After over three years of research and experimentation, Dzek has released ExCinere, a collection of volcanic ash-glazed tiles for architectural surfaces developed in collaboration with Formafantasma. During Milan Design Week 2019, the collection was presented as a landscape of tiled elements, exploring the many potential combinations and effects of the various formats and glazes.

Amsterdam-based studio Formafantasma have been researching the design potential of volcanic lava since 2010, spurred by co-founder Andrea Trimarchi’s upbringing in Sicily against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Etna. ExCinere was conceived as a means to further explore the application of lava, a fascinating naturally occurring, self-generating, and abundant material.

Dzek and Formafantasma aim to make full use of the material properties of volcanic lava for architectural products. The repercussions are as sustainable as they are structural and aesthetic, with Formafantasma pointing out that, “Mount Etna is a mine without miners; it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials.”

A high metal oxide content makes volcanic ash and basalt rock complex and unpredictable to work with. Three years of exploding, imploding, cracking and caving were endured before a careful balance of porcelain body, ash glaze, firing temperature and method was achieved to create ExCinere. The tiles are suitable for both interior and exterior cladding, from kitchen counters and bathroom floors to entire facades.

The ExCinere collection is available in two sizes and five volcanic glazes, ranging in colour from golden caramel to a rich dark brown. The various surfaces are created by mixing different quantities, particle sizes, and densities of volcanic matter, resulting in a mottled appearance that speaks to the dynamic landscape from which they come.

 

See more projects by Formafantasma on Yellowtrace here.

 

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[Images courtesy of Formafantasma & Dzek. Photography by Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti.]

 

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