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The Art of Porcelain with Greg Natale and Kaolin

A new and on-trend collaboration between Greg Natale and Kaolin has resulted in a varied, high-quality range of aesthetically distinctive porcelain tile designs.

The Art of Porcelain with Greg Natale and Kaolin

The best collaborations are, well, collaborative. One of the standout features of The Art of Porcelain is the way it obviously involves a genuine coming together of two parties: interior designer, Greg Natale, and Kaolin Porcelain Surfaces. This isn’t a case of a renowned designer merely attaching their name to a commercial product without any real engagement. Instead, the collection – which has been realised with remarkable speed – has involved a process of mutual learning, with Natale’s recognisable design aesthetic being translated into tangible, usable, material form.

“As soon as I visited Kaolin, I could see what these guys could do, their capabilities” says Natale. “So, we were really pushing pattern, texture and colour. I’ve always seen this as a really beautiful fusion of what the people at Kaolin are good at, with me layering the pattern in the tile design and Kaolin able to produce these amazing large pieces of porcelain tiles.”

The new series is named Dimora, meaning ‘dwelling’ in Italian. Within it, there are then three collections: Villa, Grotta and Casa. The former involves new marble-look pieces that are, as Natale puts it, “then layered with my design DNA.” Natale’s distinctive use of metallic inlays is even reproduced in this collection, attesting to the quality of the manufacture at Kaolin. The other distinguishing features of the collaboration are the textures achieved with the tiles and – again a Kaolin signature – their rich colours.

Villa Collection

“When I’m designing a collection, I’m really thinking about all different kinds of people – those who like something light, those who want something moody, those who like colour and pattern,” notes Natale.

The Grotta collection, meaning ‘cave’ in Italian, draws on a more Brutalist aesthetic. More specifically, Natale has keyed right into a Brazilian expression that very much verges into Tropical Modernism too. The evocative designs here recall the colourful, artistic murals that adorn many Brutalist works of architecture of the less austere kind. Involving a complex manufacturing process, some Grotta pieces include plaster, cardboard, burnt wood, and real copper inlay.

Grotta Collection

Finally, the Casa collection takes a decidedly softer turn, with muted tones designed to reflect the essence of Milanese minimalism and Venetian architecture. Clearly, The Art Porcelain contains a wide variety of colour, pattern and texture. “I know that I’m known for a style,” explains Natale, “but I’ve never wanted to be pigeon-holed into just one style. I wanted this collection to reflect that – even the maximalism I’m exploring now [in my houses] is very different to what I was known for ten years ago.”

Casa Collection

Overall, the new series is the end result of Greg Natale and Kaolin falling into each other’s orbit. Rita and Anton Bourtsev, Directors at Kaolin, hosted the well-known interior designer for one of their friendly tea gatherings in the Kaolin Sydney showroom. It was from there, as well as a meeting for Natale’s book launch, that the collaboration was born.

“It’s been amazing,” says Natale, who also applauds the speed with which the design has been realised, given its relevance to what he saw during Milan Design Week 2024. “You come up with an idea and you want to get it out with the zeitgeist, at the right time.” Together, Kaolin and Natale have certainly done that. 

Kaolin
kaolin.com.au

Greg Natale
gregnatale.com

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