‘So what are these made of ?’ I asked naively. I didn’t expect the answer to involve the world’s oldest active volcano. Sicily based Made a Mano do indead make sinks from lavastone from Mount Etna as well as a collection of lavastone and cotto tiles. Designs are hand painted, free hand that is, in nineteenth century and historical Japanese patterns. But wait there’s much more.
The example above is made from smooth lavastone which can be left unfinished or colour can be added inside or out. And we need to talk about the tiles it is sitting on.
These are hand painted. Traditional painstaking craftsmanship producing something of real beauty. They are from the Komon range which includes both lavastone and cotto tile elements. The Japanese designs in the range go back more than 300 years.
Another example from the Komon range, on lavastone. The combination of the ancient Sicilian material and almost ethereal Japanese design is extraordinary.
More lavastone, but with the look of a wooden floor. It is called Incontro and it is available in a range of colours and is, apparently, ideal for underfloor heating which, of course, the Romans know a thing or two about. We love the all white look but hear horror stories about the daily task of cleaning and maintaining white painted wood. This adds another dimension to the all white room with texture and finish that are clean, bright, simple but have a quality of their own.
The company also puts out a line of lavastone countertops that are available glazed or unfinished and come in various thicknesses, various colours and various designs. We were able to get a firsthand look at the line when they exhibited at Tom Dixon’s new Portobello Dock showroom. It is a line that has to be seen and touched to really appreciate its qualities. Having one of these for food prep might inspire even me to venture into the kitchen more often.
A closser look at the lavastone worksurface, this time a 2cm slab that has been left unfinished. It contrasts so beautifully with delicate ceramics and exotic woods.
We love the clean, calm, confident surfaces Made a Mano make. But their more colourful designs also deserve to be widely shared. We’ve already raved about the floor and the work surfaces but the horizontal multi-colored tile collection on the back splash really add a whole new dimension to the organic composition. This is creative mix of New Decoration, Komon Natura and NeroBianco which definitely warrants a second look.
So here it is. It takes the confidence of a great designer to mix patterns like this. And it takes a great tile to enable them to carry it off. We salute all involved.
When we say ‘available in various colours’, this is all of them. Walls and floor both in the full range of 12 solid colours in the Cristalli range. Probably not a shower to recover from a hangover in but Modenus wouldn’t know about that. Joking aside, why are so many showers so boring? And how great to see something which is so much fun yet still very classy. So, Made a Mano – tiles and surfaces made from a bit of very old volcano with a lot of very new style.