London-based Italian Francesca Anfossi is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses ceramics, workshops, cooking classes and communal events. She also provides opportunities for participants to learn new skills and form new social bonds. So when she decided to design the kitchen in her new Camden home, there was never any doubt that there would be originality, imagination and innovation involved.
Given Francesca’s heritage, terrazzo was the logical choice, a material that had surrounded her in Italy where it is used in many different ways. For her kitchen, she was keen to create a bespoke terrazzo which incorporated her own work with ceramics. As an experienced maker of bespoke terrazzo based in London, Diespeker was the perfect choice for Francesca who wanted to be physically involved in the process.
Within the off white and marble mix terrazzo base, she wanted to incorporate ceramic pieces made by her children. Together they made over 100 pieces in terracotta clay from spoons and knives to figurines and abstract shapes. Francesca created a digital sample using a classic base and sent through a number of the ceramic pieces to be used for samples, which she had fired at a high temperature to test for strength.
As well as ceramics, her design included glass pieces of primary colour pallette yellow, blue and red. This was intended to replicate the shapes created by beams of light shining through the stained glass windows in her home.
The Diespeker team worked to match Francesca’s design. When she was satisfied, she visited the factory to place the ceramic and glass pieces within the moulds herself, making this a very hands-on experience. Once the terrazzo was set, it was ground and polished before being taken for installation in Francesca’s Camden house.
This beautiful, unique terrazzo was made using a resin base. Diespeker created two worktops with a standard thickness but an unusual width at 900mm. They included a cut out for the hob and two splashbacks. As part of the design, Francesca commissioned a sink in the same terrazzo to be cast as a single piece, a challenge that the bespoke team successfully rose to.
Francesca enjoyed the process so much that afterwards she said she would be delighted to accept commissions for ceramic shapes from anyone who would like to create their own custom made terrazzo designs.
More about Francesca Anfossi
Francesca’s work celebrates functionality and exchange, based on some of our most basic activities: cooking, playing and sharing. Anfossi is the co-founder of Rochester Square, a dynamic space in London dedicated to socially-engaging projects and artistic collaborations. She is the winner of the Whitegold International Ceramic Prize, St Austell, UK 2020-2021.
Previous projects include:
Creative Learning Programme, Residency, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2020.
Square meal, Frieze art fair VIP Programme, London, 2019.