Organic Materials, Rich Patinas, and Hand-Hewn Craft.
Scratching the surface
In two new collections for Ann Sacks, AD100 Hall of Famer Kelly Wearstler plumbs the tension inherent in the dual nature of ceramic tile itself—the material’s hard, durable surface and its responsiveness to soft, painterly, artisanal effects. The Scout line, encompassing eight patterns, celebrates Wearstler’s love of fluid, organic lines and shapes that wiggle, wiggle. The Senso group, with four distinctive field tiles, pays homage to the beauty of fine plasterwork and its unique tactile allure. “I wanted to explore the subtlety and versatility of stoneware as a canvas for creative expression,” Wearstler says. “The capabilities of the craftspeople at the Ann Sacks factory in Portland are incredible. Together, we pushed the limits of the material to create designs with real depth and presence,” she continues. In both collections, glazes are hand-applied to the tiles’ dimensional surfaces, variously carved with striations, scoops, grids, and sinuous wave patterns. The irregular pooling and breaking of the colors only adds to the stoneware’s artful, bespoke complexion—no two tiles are exactly alike. “The possibilities for combining the different patterns are limitless. They can be super dramatic or very discreet, depending on how and where you apply them,” Wearstler explains. “They’re really a testament to the workmanship of the Ann Sacks team,” she adds. The Scout and Senso collections fall under the Made by Ann Sacks umbrella, which encompasses the company’s guest designer series as well as all the in-house designs handcrafted by the Ann Sacks artisans in Oregon. annsacks.com —Mayer Rus
Giorgio Armani has long set his sights beyond fashion, tackling all manner of domestic luxuries under the Armani/Casa name. Now the icon has introduced his first limited-edition kitchen system, foregrounding natural materials and Italian craft. Unveiled in Milan, Armani’s Atelier series features olive wood and wicker, a handsome mix further enriched by stone countertops and shelving of satin-finished metal. The effect straddles residential and professional culinary lines—proof that we could use another cook in the kitchen. Available through the Armani/Casa Miami boutique; 786-687-7003 —Sam Cochran