TURKISHCERAMICS, the group that promotes Turkey’s ceramic manufacturers and exporters, is set to make an impression at Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, to be held in Bologna, Italy, next month (September 22 to 26), following its success at a series of international exhibitions earlier this year.
These include the Unicera, the international ceramic bathroom and kitchen fair, which was held in its home country between February 25 and March 2; the 25th Coverings international tile, stone and flooring exposition, staged in Las Vegas, US, from April 29 to May 2; and the recent Clerkenwell Design Week’s fifth annual show in May, held in London, UK.
Turkishceramics, which continues to make extensive efforts to promote the Turkishceramics brand around the world, partnered with London-based design practice russ + henshaw to create the Tile Mile “infinity mirror”, a temporary, ceramic installation at St John’s Gate, one of the most iconic landmarks in London’s Clerkenwell district, for the Design Week.
Over 88 hours of tiling and 7,200 tiles went into the making of Tile Mile, which was launched at Clerkenwell Design Week. russ + henshaw created a ‘tiled passageway’ that invited the public to engage and interact with the installation and reflect upon both modern Turkish ceramics and the built heritage of Clerkenwell.
The Tile Mile’s design featured 50 sq m of parallel mirrors that face inward within the two, 6-m-high inner arches of St John’s Gate, allowing visitors to experience diminishing images of themselves, extending to infinity.
Phil Henshaw, co-founder of russ + henshaw, says: “The reflection of the floor and ceiling planes in the mirrored arches created the illusion of an infinite ‘crypt-like’ space, creating a dramatic, decorative pathway that disappears into the distance.”
The parallel mirrors reflect the vaulted ceiling of the arch as well as the floor displaying a colourful patterned design created with modern ceramics by Turkishceramics brands. The design incorporated 10 complementary colours chosen to reference traditional Iznic ceramics including red, oil blue, yellow, sage green, dove grey, white, scarlet red, cobalt blue, sky blue and turquoise.
The illusion created in the Tile Mile was also reminiscent of the spectacular space within the famous Basilica Cistern, below the Stoa Basilica in Istanbul, with its endless forest of columns and elaborate vaulted ceiling.
When reflected, there were 1.9 million tiles in a mile. The arch was 6 m tall and the 7,200 tiles were laid over 10 working days/100 hours by craftsman Colin Barber. The Tile Mile also included over 50 sq m of mirror, which are laminated to ply backing with an intermediate layer of safety foil to avoid shattering.
The floor design featured tiles from the Vitra Architekt and Kale Cube collections, which were chosen because of the colours, surface finish and their potential to create interesting geometric patterns. The Kale Cube tile is a wall tile and as such, a floor treatment was applied to ensure they met slip resistance targets for the public realm.
Bahadir Kayan, chairman of Turkishceramics, says: “This was our first year at Clerkenwell Design Week. russ + henshaw’s design for the Tile Mile is a creative representation of how modern Turkish ceramics products and historical architecture work together harmoniously.”
Established in 1997, Turkishceramics represents more than 30 Turkish companies. Its mission is to raise international awareness of the brand and the quality of Turkish ceramic tiles and sanitary ware.
“Turkey is a global force in ceramics and the number one sanitary ware exporter and number three tiles exporter in Europe. In 2013, Turkey exported more than $1 billion worth of ceramics products, with more than $606 million earned from tiles exports and over $204 million from sanitary ware,” Kayan says.
He continues: “Turkey has a long and rich history in ceramics production, with the first ceramics having been created in Anatolia more than 8,000 years ago. Turkey’s ceramic producers are proud to continue this tradition of innovation today through a creative approach and a broad range of products for both the professional and consumer markets.
“Today, Turkey is one of the strongest players in the ceramics industry in the world thanks to an abundance of natural resources, high-quality ceramic products and the innovative approach of its manufacturers.
“Turkish ceramic companies are developing world-leading brands and creating innovative products by integrating high quality, good design and the latest technology.
“Many Turkish ceramic products have been honoured with important design awards like Red Dot and IF Design awards. This is a result of our distinctive design approach by being able to combine our rich cultural heritage with modern technology.”