Mosaic tile designer and manufacturer New Ravenna recently got its hands on an exclusive material, basalto orvieto, that inspired its latest fall collection.
The company says it is the first to have access to basalto orvieto in the U.S. This material is a kind of gray basalt that comes from the quarries of Italy.
New Ravenna’s fall collection features whimsical mosaic designs, vibrant colors, and natural textures. The company says the collection’s inspiration came from capabilities of its basalto material and current trends.
Nine new designs are showcased in the collection, along with 17 revamped existing designs. Existing designs were chosen to be reiterated in order to take full advantage of basalto’s color payoff. This new material also made way for the company to add 24 new bold colors to its products.
As a porous lava rock, basalto can bind with New Ravenna’s chosen handmade glazes stronger than any other material in the company’s possession. Even if put in a rock tumbler for hours—which is part of the company’s rigorous testing process—the glaze does not budge, says Cean Irminger, New Ravenna’s creative director.
The material is a light gray with white inclusions and incredibly durable. Many streets in Italy use a form of basalt for its pavers, which proves just how strong the material really is.
“It also is a beast for usages,” says Irminger. “We can hand nip it into tessara mosaics—which is the mosaic where the pieces are hand shaped and placed piece by piece—so usually you need a stone that’s not too, too hard for that because you’re only using your hand strength to nip it into the shape you need. But it’s also tough enough to get waterjet cut and it can be used in really, really high-traffic areas. It is kind of the perfect stone itself and the beautiful glaze just adds the cherry on the top.”
This collection is suitable for flooring, walls, interior and exterior projects. Because the stone can be cut with high-pressure water, there are less grout lines and smoother connections between tiles. It makes the organic shapes more solid so the company can focus on the curves of the shape. This allowed New Ravenna to take past designs, such as the Lava Lamp design, and produce it out of basalto for a sleeker look.
As a working studio, the company can see trends forming in real-time, they say. Color has emerged as a popular desire, especially in today’s climate where homeowners want more positivity and excitement, Irminger says.
“We noticed that color was creeping back into people’s orders,” says Irminger. “For the past decade it’s been a nordic scene of gray and white. Nobody has really wanted to delve into colors. Then we started to see a hint of color here and a touch of color there. But now people are not nervous anymore about putting color into their spaces.”
According to the company, textures and specific patterns are trending. In addition, New Ravenna noticed that more customers are asking for mid-century modern, tribal, and rustic designs. Basalto brings in its own natural texture and now the company can bring that feature into its most wanted patterns.
“When the glaze is poured onto it, the glaze kind of pours into those inclusions and gives us those really organic, really beautiful textures,” says Irminger. “It’s not just a flat plane. It pools into those geo inclusions and has a really nice rustic texture to boot. And because it’s hand applied glaze, you get different dial-ups. So it might be applied a little bit thicker on this 12 by 12, it might be a little thinner here, so it has this kind of shifting, velvet feel. The hand applied glaze kind of brings life from tile to tile.”