earthy. refined. introducing listellos from fornace brioni+cristina celestino

by clé tile | published: Sep 23, 2021

Listellos are as raw as fired clay gets, yet their elongated form elevates this prima materia into a sophisticated plank. They strike that difficult-to-get-quite-right chord of ancient and modern, making these tiles ideal for adding character to a rustic environment or texture to a modern setting.

The tiles are formed from authentic terracotta, or cotto; their rustic earthiness coming literally from the earth. Clay dug from Italy’s storied Po Valley is where Fornace Brioni has been harvesting clay for the past 100 years. Albert Brioni and his crew of artisans mix this clay with water, transforming it with fire as the family-owned firm has been doing for three generations. (Learn more about Fornace Brioni’s cotto here and about Fornace Brioni here.)

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 10.24.12 AM

Listellos are part of Fornace Brioni’s traditional collection of terracotta tiles but under the auspices of designer Cristina Celestino, the company’s creative director, the tiles have been recontextualized as part of the New Era of Cotto, comprising Celestino’s modern interpretation of classical tile forms in clay.

Case in point: Celestino’s installations for Fendi Casa where she paired Listellos with Cotto Tivoli, using the Listellos as a border. She also used them in a basketweave pattern using two colorways (Cotto Rosato and Moka) to create a thoroughly modern moment with a classic tile.

cle-tile-terracotta-fornace-brioni-install-listellos-rosato-grigio-home-set-up-FENDI-FENDI-CASA-Cristina-Celestino-Omar-Sartor-v4 cle-tile-terracotta-fornace-brioni-cotto-tivoli-home-set-up-FENDI-FENDI-CASA-Cristina-Celestino-Omar-Sartor-v5
Design: Cristina Celestino / Photo: Omar Sartor

Listellos’ 2 ¼ x 12 inch elongated shape lends them a modern architectural feel, while the clé palette of Moka, Rosato, Bianco, Grey Cotto, and Paglierino, allows them to travel from humble to sophisticated and back again. Cotto Rosato is a completely modern reimagination of millenia of Italian terracotta tradition; Moka is at once richly moody and glowingly warm; and Grey Cotto ø1 coolly modern. Paglierino is warm and subtle while Bianco is elegant and timeless.

cle-tile-terracotta-fornace-brioni-listellos-moka-terra-by-bone-design-bonedotstudio-photography-bonedotstudio-v2 cle-tile-terracotta-fornace-brioni-listellos-moka-terra-by-bone-design-bonedotstudio-photography-bonedotstudio-v1
Design / Photo: Bone Studio

The palette highlights the variation, texture and artisan craftsmanship of traditional cotto but the opportunity for real creativity comes in how they’re used. In the hands of Cristina Celestino, for example, this heritage material and shape become downright modern and bold: a true focal point for a room.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.16.07 AM
Design: Project with Leonori Architetti / Photo by Francesco Conti Studio