We see it as outdated, obsolete, even tacky at times and yet each time it is reborn to become even fresher and richer. Ceramic never ceases to amaze us. It’s the phoenix of decorative materials.
We were originally seduced by the practical side of ceramic: shock resistant, watertight, not affected by changes in temperature, easy to wash, perfectly hygienic. It was the ideal material for the kitchen (floor and work space), the bathroom (floor and walls) and the vestibule (floor).
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Years have passed and designers have recognized the potential of ceramic in terms of aesthetics. They have embraced it enthusiastically. The days when ceramic was associated with being poor are long gone. Today, ceramic offers almost infinite possibilities when it comes to decorating.
Ceramic imitates natural stones, wood, marble and concrete. Sometimes the designs are quite surprising, such as snakeskin. This explains its astonishing ability to make a floor come alive. And even make it sophisticated. Ceramic comes in so many colours, textures and motifs that you have an abundance of choice.[……]
You could easily fall under his charm if you insist on originality and you have a bit of patience and a few dollars. This strange name is not that of an Austrian rock group or a German sausage. It designates a style of decoration that was all the rage in Central Europe between 1815 and 1848, mainly in Germany and Austria. It can be easily recreated today at little cost. Some shops sell Biedermeier objects, such as the porcelain in the photo.
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Before going any further, here’s a brief picture of the Biedermeier style. It designates a political, artistic and cultural movement born after Napoleon’s devastation in Europe. Once the wars ended after the emperor’s defeat at Waterloo, people felt the need to fulfil themselves by creating a new ambience, tinged with simplicity and joie de vivre. This need carried over into homes, thus resulting in the Biedermeier look: warm, understated, soft, and friendly.[……]
Porcelain has been used as table art for a long time. Major European manufacturers are internationally renowned for the incomparable quality of their dishes. Take Limoges or Sèvres porcelain for example.
Porcelain’s charm is explained by its finesse and translucency, properties that are also found in other pieces used for decorative purposes, such as figurines, ornaments, clocks, lamps.
In another vein, would you be tempted by a porcelain floor? At first glance you might doubt its strength. But wait!
We learned from Joyce Barakett, of Couvre-planchers Magnan in Trois-Rivières, that most porcelain tiles used as floor covering are stronger than ceramic. Most varieties of ceramic tiles are fired once whereas porcelain can be fired several times, making it stronger.
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