The latest from Ann Sacks for 2023 reveals new introductions that are both dramatic and dazzling, as well as stylishly subtle.
The celebrated artist Lisa Hunt is Ann Sacks’ latest collaborator. A new capsule collection interprets her visual art, which is best known for its graphic sensibility with the repetition of particular geometric shapes and, often, a limited palette. According to DeeDee Gundberg, Chief Designer at Ann Sacks, it was a fabulous match of connecting artistic talent with a new area of discovery to explore and create.
“The first thing I thought of when l saw Lisa’s work was how beautifully it would translate to tile,” says Gundberg. “That part was easy. We started by figuring out which motifs we wanted to move forward with, and which medium we felt would translate best. We agreed that ceramic would really capture the spirit of her work, which is great because she has always wanted to work in the medium.”
One nuance that really explores the depth of Hunt’s work are the finishes. She is often known for using gold leaf in her creations, and Ann Sacks had an ideal solution.
“New Bronze Luster is a color that was already in our MADE collection, and was closest to her signature gold leaf,” says Gundberg. “So we definitely wanted to include it in the palette. The result is stunning. It creates a nuance that brings us a step closer to her original artwork, yet also creates something new and exciting within the medium of ceramic.”
These are all critical to creating the right aesthetic. Ann Sacks has often collaborated with interior designers on tile collections over the years, and has also worked with visual artists. Gundberg doesn’t see their approaches to the creative process to be that different.
“Visual artists and interior designers are thinking about the same elements, whether the end result takes place on a canvas or in a room,” says Gundberg. “Palette, scale, repetition, balance, texture, juxtaposition—it's a very similar approach to development as our other partners.”
“Ann Sacks has had tiles with words or inscriptions on them before, but Lisa Hunt’s LOVE tile is totally different because it’s intended to be used as a repeating field tile to create an overall pattern. The word LOVE is so powerful, and when you add that to a very bold and very graphic execution, it becomes a truly special piece and very apropos: The world needs this tile right now!”
Longtime Ann Sacks Collaborator Kelly Wearstler’s new curated FADE collection features a unique mix of color combinations that blend into each other, resulting in a spellbinding ombre effect.
“The technique used to create FADE is a complicated process that requires quite a bit of skill in the spray booth,” says Gundberg. “Each and every tile will be unique, and the overall effect is stunning.”
Even with the best-laid plans, getting to the end result was not effortless—there is a bit of serendipity that’s needed in the development process.
“Initially, we were limited in that we couldn’t achieve exact combinations,” says Gundberg. “but our options became limitless when we opened our minds and allowed chemistry to do its thing!” Case in point: When glazes are layered, there is never a 100-percent certainty in how they will turn out until they are fired. “Some glazes have characteristics like spotting or mottling that we simply can’t make happen in other glazes,” says Gundberg, “so the palette is a result of a lot of trial and error.” The end result, however, is a dazzling and dynamic palette that resonates with Wearstler’s ethos and reflects her California-inflected design vibe.
There’s no doubt that porcelain offers so much versatility—inside and out—and its popularity continues to surge. Ann Sacks’ latest offerings were created to accommodate that demand.
“Porcelain continues to look better and better, and every year I am excited to see what’s next in the category,” says Gundberg. “For 2023, we’ll continue to see porcelain replicating popular mediums like stone and terrazzo, which is great for the client who loves the look but wants something maintenance free.”
The new Bellmore collection, for example, is quietly understated and elegant and honors time-honored design traditions.
“Plaster walls are obviously not new,” says Gundberg. “We’ve been applying this textured surface to our walls since Roman days, so it’s wonderful to see the resurgence of interest. Plaster walls are coveted for their rich texture, their perfectly imperfect character, and their artisanal qualities. All of those things are so important in design right now.” The best part: Bellmore really shines when it’s used on a vertical surface. With proper lighting, you’ll think it’s true plaster—it absolutely looks like the real deal.
Rosemont is a particularly interesting new terrazzo-inspired porcelain with its recycled content and contrast of two sizes that are offered—the overscale 24 x 24 inch field tiles, and miniscule 1 x 1 inch mosaics. The juxtaposition of the two offers the chance to create designs with an interesting play on scale and pattern.
“The smaller chip size gives the tile a completely different look than terrazzo that’s created with larger chips,” says Gundberg.
As porches, patios, terraces and loggias continue to be outfitted with furnishings and fabrics on par with their interior counterparts, porcelain is being used both indoors and out to create a seamless transition between spaces—another trend that shows no signs of abating.
“People are striving to bring the indoors out and the outdoors in,” says Gundberg. “We look at our outdoor spaces as an extension of our homes—they’re another place to cook, dine, and live, so it’s important to have a tile that can transition seamlessly from interior to exterior. The new Rochelle pocelain collection does that beautifully.”
Wood planking is not new to porcelain, but Ann Sacks’ Ellwood offers an array of rich new textures. Besides planks, chevron and weave mosaics make the wood motifs feel especially fresh.“
Another trend we’re seeing in design is the use of patterned hardwoods,” says Gundberg. “Parquet, herringbone, chevron—anything that creates a pattern in this timeless medium. Ellwood has beautiful markings, and a fantastic finish that looks and feels like real hardwood.”
“Martyn really wanted this collection to feel updated and fresh,” says Gundberg. “so we played with scale and color by adding a navy-and-pink option, along with the white, black, and gray.” Shapewise, a half hex design is particularly versatile and allows for some really fun and modern patterns as well as traditional ones. Terrazzo as a medium is a particular favorite of Lawrence Bullard’s, and because mid-century motifs were part of the inspiration, each pattern has been named after a well-known home of the era.
New Designer Collections from Kelly Wearstler, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Lisa Hunt and more. Explore a range of options from artisan ceramics, hand poured concrete and textured porcelains.Download The Catalog
March 17, 2023
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