The tradition of terracotta dates back to a thousand years ago, as a result of the subtle alchemy between water, earth and fire. Thanks to a know-how that has been handed down intact over time, the Fornace Brioni in Gonzaga – a Renaissance town rich in history and culture in the Mantuan plain – works the terracotta exclusively by hand using the best clays from the slow sedimentation of the Po floodplain.
Founded in 1920 from the acquisition of the so-called “Fornacione” (some documents prove its existence since 1883), the company has now reached the fourth generation with Alessio and Alberto Brioni who, while maintaining a strong link with the past, look more and more to the future.
Already a leader in the renovation of historic floors, Fornace Brioni is increasingly engaged in researching and developing the possibilities of this material: finishes can be homogeneous, variegated or enamelled; colours range from red to pinkish, grey or black in order to meet contemporary tastes.
In the perspective of a rapid evolution, from 2017 the Brioni brothers have called architect Cristina Celestino to the creative direction of the brand. “For both Giardino all’Italiana and Gonzaga collections”, reveals Celestino, “the objective was to play with the founding values of the material – Italianism, excellence, durability – and to strongly define it from the aesthetic point of view while preserving its typical materiality. So I kept the material genuine and worked with reference to shapes and geometries well rooted in the Italian cultural imaginary. The result is completely new but continues to be reassuring, creating a balance between nostalgia and design tension”.