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Innovative Materials: ExCinere the refined collection of volcanic ash-glazed tiles by Formafantasma and Dzek.


Formafantasma has been researching the potential of volcanic lava as a design material since 2010, observing the detrimental impact of mass –tourism on Sicily’s landscape and culture. In the 2014 project, De Natura Fossilium, this was addressed by thoroughly investigating the culture of lava in the Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Italy and culminated in a collection of expertly – crafted glass, basalt and textile works.

The ExCinere project was conceived to further explore the application of this fascinating naturally – occurring, self-generating, and abundant material. The name ExCinere® is a play on the Latin ex cinere, which means ‘from ash’.


ExCinere is a new take on the tradition of volcanic lava as a building material and a manifest of the enduring attraction between humans and the impossible force of nature.



The Story

The use of volcanic matter in architecture has a long and rich history. From the Bronze age Jardines of Pantelleria; protective solid walls built around delicate fruit trees in raw volcanic rock, to Roman concrete; a material including pulverised lava rock added for durability, to César Manrique’s evocative Lanzarote architecture of the 1960s which so seamlessly and sympathetically integrates into its surrounding volcanic landscape.

The result of more than three years of research and experimentation, ExCinere® is suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces, from kitchen counters and bathroom floors to architectural facade cladding.

Formats & Finishes

ExCinere® is available in two sizes and eight volcanic ash glazes, allowing for infinite compositions for both interior and exterior architectural surfaces. Special finishes and corner formats such as high slip resistance for wet flooring areas and mitred or glazed profiles for corners or edges are also options.

The collection is available in two standard sizes and two volcanic ash-glaze ranges, the classic Terra range with four earth tones and the new Verdigris range in four earth greens tones.

The different glaze colours and textures are derived from mixing and firing varying quantities and particle sizes and densities of volcanic matter are evocative of the dynamic landscape from which they come.

Artisanal Touch

All glazes are hand applied, made using organic matter and are batch produced. Therefore each glaze will contain subtle variations in colour and texture within each production and from batch to batch.

Read more on our latest innovative material finds added to our ever-growing material library here.






Images courtesy of dzekdzekdzek





Photographer: XU Liang Leon, Frontality




Photography: Delfino Sisto Legnani, Marco Cappelletti, Nick Ballon



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