Venice – Let’s face it, mass automation and mechanical processes have been ruling the design and manufacturing world since the industrial revolution, at the expense of hand-craft. We’ve misplaced the character once seen in designs of years gone by. Steadily, we see designers combatting this by implementing a ‘rage against the machine’ technique, a full 180 degree turn, looking to artisanal methods of the past for their future mode of working. Handmade is making a comeback, but it’s up against the sheer speed, cost and efficacy of the machine-force.
Unless you utilize a combination of both, that is. Florim’s resurfaced label, Cedit, does: it’s re-characterising architectural ceramics by providing the ‘feel’ of handmade slabs, while maintaining the advantages of modern mechanization. Technology has allowed for larger slab sizes and technical precision in the laying of colour. In its heyday, circa 1940-1980, Cedit was known for encouraging artistic innovation and experimenting with new methods of surfacing in the ceramic industry. Often seen partnering up with great designers like Zanuso, Noorda and Ettore Sottsass.
Cedit continues on the same trajectory, encouraging an intense dialogue between craftsmanship and technology, evident in its recent ceramic slab collaboration with Studio Formafantasma, titled Cromatica. The collection explores the possibilities of re-introducing defects which were, once upon a time, a by-product of the handmade production process. Though unwanted, the inconsistencies presented by these methods ‘gave character to surfaces,’ say Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma. ‘[Cromatica] represents a reflection on colour, and above all a proposal on how to transfer the multiplicity of shades typical of a hand-crafted piece into a project produced on a large scale.’