Posted on 6/27/2013 8:02 PM by Grace Jeffers


At NeoCon Arborite unveiled three new laminate patterns called the Ink collection. Each design is graphically bold and oh so new, but I could not help but see the connections with time honored decorative arts. Allow me to explain...

INK pattern: Random

Designer: Peggy Leung of PLD Studio.

From the press release: "Crisp squares in a range of chromatic colors give a pixelated impression to the contemporary Random."

Before there was pixilation man made pictures and patterns with mosaic. Today we usually think of mosaics as a grid of tile, stone or other material but not all mosaics are grids; a mosaic can be a painterly image or pattern as well. A tessellation is a pattern of a repeated shape or shapes, which do not overlap. But each tile can be more accurately identified as a tessera (in the singular) or tesserae (in the plural). Tessera is derived from the Latin word for the number four.

Random reminds me of Eco-Essence Mother of Pearl from Architectural Systems Inc.

INK pattern: Corcho

Designer: Gonzalo Bustamante of GBDW.

From the press release: "Inspired by cork produced throughout Spain and Portugal, Corcho displays the material in intertwining curves, juxtaposed with the geometry of a clean, circular motif."

A guilloche is an ornamental device that resembles braided or interlaced ribbons. You may be familiar with it from looking at classical stone architecture or continental silver. 

A guilloche is separate from interlacing in that it incorporates central elements, which are usually in the form of circles. Imagine straps looped around pegs. 

Corcho also reminds me of Mod Wall’s cork penny tile.

INK pattern: Pyne

Designer: Giona Maiarelli of Maiarelli Studios.

From the press release: "Pyne is a playful re-imagining of a wood grain, combining casual doodling with vibrant contemporary colors."

What we refer to as grain, the distinctive undulating lines in wood, is more accurately called figure. The figure of a particular piece of wood is, in part, due to its grain and, in part, due to the cut, or to innate properties of the wood. 

Pyne brings to mind more than grain. It is playful marriage of a contour map and faux bois fantasy.