Sims Patrick Studio's Libby Patrick & Laurie Born with the entire group on their trip to Italy 2013
Sims Patrick Studio Principal, Libby Patrick, and Director of Retail, Laurie Born, were invited by the tile and stone resourcing company Ceramic Technics Limited, to preview the newest porcelain tile products this summer in Italy. Libby and Laurie were there for a week, visiting Reggio Emilia, Sassuola, Imola, Florence, Modena, and Bologna—where the newest porcelain tile was being introduced at an annual show called Cersaie 2013. The other attendees included two architects and seven designers from various firms from all over the country, specializing in retail and hospitality projects. Gerry King and Matt Houser of Ceramic Technics, Ltd. were the hosts of the week.
While in Italy, the group had the pleasure of seeing state-of-the-art porcelain tile presses, kilns and digital printing technology, while visiting four tile showroom/factories: Emil/Ergon, Imola, Refin and Marca Corona, some of them established as early as 1741. Each tile manufacturer was preparing to unveil their newest product lines. The group also toured the factories, to watch the process of making porcelain tile; starting from raw materials, milling, pressing, glazing, baking and rectifying. The kilns are custom made spanning the length of a football field and allowing each tile to pass through the kiln anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
The group enjoyed some leisure activities including visiting a balsamic vinegar loft outside of Reggio Emilia, where vinegars are aged for over 30 years. They enjoyed decadent dinners and lunches daily, sometimes up to 5 courses of Italian cuisine and fine Italian wines. They also enjoyed a day trip to Florence with a guided walking tour to visit the Duomo, Uffizi Square, and Ponte Vecchio. When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Laurie Born said, "The beautiful countryside, quaint streets and settings, classic architecture, learning the tile production process, and getting to know other colleagues located all across our country."
Sims Patrick Studio's Laurie Born with Ceramic Technics Limited's Matt Houser & Gerry King
Sims Patrick Studio's Libby Patrick with Ceramic Technics Limited's Matt Houser & Gerry King