Bathco & Hisbalit present their handcrafted and creative materials to the leading designers in the sector
-The Cantabrian firms organised the “Artisanship and Creativity” workshop, a two-day event of work and creativity with Patricia Bustos, Virginia Nieto, Pepe Leal, Fabián Ñíguez and Nacho Alegría
Last week, the Cantabrian firms Bathco and Hisbalit t organised a workshop entitled “Artisanship and Creativity”: a two-day event of work and experimentation with renowned Spanish designers who had the opportunity to get to know more about the craftsmanship and creativity in every Hisbalit mosaic tile.
Patricia Bustos, Virginia Nieto, Pepe Leal, Fabián Ñíguez and Nacho Alegría travelled to Cantabria to visit both companies and see how they work and the spaces and workshops where they create their totally “customised” products.
Visit to Bathco
On Thursday, June 1, they visited the Bathco showroom in Santander, where they were given an exclusive look at the latest products to be presented in the new catalogue from Bathco, a company specialised in bathroom furnishings. One of the surprises of the day was in the company’s R&D department where they saw prototypes of washbasins created using 3D printing, printing on ceramic forms and the development of photoluminescent pieces for special projects, as well as murals created using video mapping techniques.
Like fish in water at the Bathco Atelier
The renowned interior designers visited the Bathco Atelier, the place of creation and experimentation where a multidisciplinary team of artists develop their ideas for bathroom furnishings piece by piece. Each piece is like a canvas on which new finishes and styles are created. The ceramics are moulded to give volume and the patterns are painstakingly applied by hand, attesting to decades of experience.
Patricia Bustos, Virginia Nieto, Pepe Leal, Fabián Ñíguez and Nacho Alegría all immersed themselves in the Atelier, enjoying a first-hand look at the techniques and possibilities porcelain has to offer as a creative addition to their projects.
An eye-opener for the professionals. For Fabián Ñíguez the Bathco Atelier is “the pinnacle of personalisation. Pieces can be customised down to the last detail. Something clients have been asking for, something super-exclusive”. This idea was shared by the other designers. Pepe Leal affirmed that the visit to the Bathco Atelier had fired his creativity and imagination. “I have seen infinite possibilities for personalisation: finishes, forms, volumes and textures”, added Leal.
The heart of the “handcrafted”
On Friday June 2, the designers visited the Hisbalit factory in Soto de la Marina, the oldest mosaic tile factory in Europe, where they were amazed by the manual and ecological nature of the manufacturing process.
“We never would have imagined there is so much human involvement. We always thought the designs and mosaic tiles were made by some robot. But we’ve seen that each piece is unique, depending on the temperature, the amount of natural pigment it receives, the firing and then the people who select and install each piece. That’s why it’s such a great product, you can feel it has that human touch”, explained Pepe Leal and Virginia Nieto. Hisbalit mosaic tile is a material with an artisanal spirit, transmitting all the sensations and emotions of handcrafted materials. In the manufacturing process, the design of each mosaic is entirely customised and crafted like a work of art, with each tile installed by hand, with touch and feeling, imbuing the final product with all the heart and emotion of traditional craftsmanship.
Another surprise awaiting the designers at the factory was an in situ view of Hisbalit’s commitment to environmental responsibility, producing 100% recycled tiles using all-natural pigments. Fabián Ñíguez, who had visited the factory some years before, was amazed to discover one of the newest processes developed by Hisbalit to close the circle of sustainability and achieve the company’s goal of “0 waste”. Tiles and pieces not apt for sale, a by-product of the manufacturing process, are recovered and re-milled to create a new, doubly recycled, high-quality product used as a filter substance for pools.
Mosaic and play
Hisbalit is devoted to colour and creativity and invited the designers to participate in the “Mosaic and Play” workshop, a fun and creative activity where they had the opportunity to play and create amusing compositions in local, eco-friendly mosaic tile. The activities gave them an insight into the importance of teamwork at Hisbalit: building a labyrinth using mosaic tiles or playing an escape room where each of the 5 were essential in finding the exit. They also created their own emojis in eco-friendly mosaic tile. Fun-filled activities to conclude the event.