The Artedomus Expert Series

Words by Rose Onans
The Artedomus Expert Series The Local Project 2

The Artedomus Expert Series draws upon the wealth of knowledge within the company, delving into the most frequently asked questions on their products and materials, and detailing the fascinating history of Agape Italy and Inax Tiles.

Managing Director of Artedomus Phil Brenton, Sydney Sales Manager Matthew Croll, Melbourne Sales Manager William Pearse and Yassaman Bahar, Senior Sales Melbourne, speak to the unique qualities of products such as natural stone, their signature Artedomus Elba, porcelain panels, architectural ceramics, Inax tiles and Agape designs for the bathroom.

The Expert Series reflects the role of Artedomus as much more than simply a supplier. Rather, through their deep collaboration between architects and designers, commitment to sourcing the most unique products from around the world, and more recently the release of their first Artedomus collection, New Volumes, Artedomus have become an active participant in the design industry more broadly.

Episode 1 – Natural Stone

Artedomus have been working with stone since the company was founded 30 years ago, putting them in the position of not only having intimate knowledge of the qualities of natural stone but the role of stone as one of the most significant materials within the design industry.

Stone has been used as a building material for thousands of years and remains highly sought after today among architects and designers. Phil Brenton speaks to the inherent functional aesthetic qualities of natural stone, which make it a truly unique material, while Matthew Croll, Sydney Sales Manager, explains what patina means for natural stone, and how natural stone can also be re-honed to repair damage, making it a highly versatile and practical.

Episode 2 – Porcelain Panels

Incredibly durable, porcelain panels are a sought-after material used everywhere from the kitchen and bathroom to the outdoors. Phil Brenton explains how the manufacturing achieves the remarkable qualities of this material, and how it is essentially made in a process that replicates the natural process through which stone is made. He speaks to the unique combination of durability and lightness, which makes it suitable to be used on walls, and the fact the material does not need to be sealed as the manufacturing process ‘deletes’ the porosity.

Matthew Croll explains the 6mm thickness available and the newer 12mm thickness created specifically for kitchen benchtops, and how porcelain panels can be a cost-effective alternative to natural stone.

Episode 3 – Inax

Yassaman Bahar, Senior Sales Melbourne, delves into the history of Inax Tiles founded by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1920s with two Japanese master tile makers to create the tiles for the Imperial Hotel. Today, the tiles are used in bathrooms, kitchens and splashbacks, benchtops, exterior facades and pools, across residential, hospitality and commercial projects.

William Pearse, Melbourne Sales Manager, explains that the Inax architectural tiles are highly-sought after as they do not vary from batch to batch, the rising interest in Japanese tiles over the past decade, and the difference between Japanese ceramics and those manufactured elsewhere due to their long baking process. Yassaman and William also speak about the service Artedomus offer when a client orders Inax tiles and the breadth and quality of the vast Inax range.

Episode 4 – Agape

Artedomus is the exclusive distributor of Agape in Australia. William Pearse explains the company was founded early in the 1970s by two brothers, both architects, who are still the owners. Agape is a design house, which means that most products are designed by the owners, but have also been known to collaborate with other architects and designs often on pieces custom designed for specific projects that are then released as part of the Agape range.

With a huge range, from a small soap dish or mirror to large bahs, basins and their Casa range of furniture, Yassaman Bahar explains how many clients will design an entire bathroom around a single focal Agape product.

Episode 5 – Elba

Artedomus Elba is a unique stone in Australia as it is exclusive to Artedomus, who began importing it 15 years ago. Phil Brenton explains that due to the fact there is no naming protocol in the industry, other companies will call different stones Elba, however, Elba is only quarried in one location in Greece that is exclusive to Artedomus.

Due to a higher dolomite percentange, Elba is harder and more resistant to staining and scratching than other marbles, and can even be used externally with a sandblasted finish, where it will not deteriorate over time.

Phil and Matthew Croll describe the company’s pride in New Volumes, the first collection Artedomus created, engaging eight Australian designers to work with entirely with Elba to make beautiful objects for the home.

Episode 6 – Architectural Ceramics

Artedomus coined the term architectural ceramics or architectural tiles to describe interior and exterior tiles that are not traditionally grouted, acting as an architectural feature instead of a tile. William Pearse explains the primary function of the products are that they are an exterior feature that is not sensitive to the extremes of the external environment as they are water resistant.

Yassaman Bahar goes through the process involved in specifying the architectural ceramics, and the services Artedomus offer to help their clients with selecting the tiles, ordering, and installation, as well as their custom-design offering.

Episode 7 – Natural vs Engineered Stone

This video in the series explores the differences between natural and engineered stone, with Phil Brenton exploring the reasons Artedomus have had no involvement with engineered stone since the company began 30 years ago.

Phil explains Artedomus are committed to educating clients about the differences so that they can make an informed decision, highlighting that the term ‘engineered stone’ is not correct, as it is in fact10% resin, giving it a plastic appearance that is very different from natural stone. Other differences include the fact it is not UV stable, so, therefore, cannot be used outdoors and is susceptible to discolouration when used near doors or windows, and it lacks the authenticity and natural variation that makes genuine stone unique.

Episode 8 – About Artedomus

An architectural finishes business, Artedomus began 30 years ago and now work nationally with showrooms and warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.Reflecting on the changing role of the company, Phil Brenton explains they do not see themselves as suppliers of bathware or tiles but as part of the design industry.

This is reflected in their focus on offering timeless products that are not based on trends but on looking for the new and different. Artedomus are driven to inspire, both their clients and themselves, constantly searching the world over to bring new and interesting products and materials to the Australian design industry.