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The Art of Working with Porcelain Stoneware

As you probably know by now, working with porcelain stoneware requires more than professional tools: it requires experience, patience and competence. The experts mentioned in this article can easily make a perfect bevel cut under 45°, transform large format slabs into shelves and countertops, or lay tiles seamlessly around your bathtub. Their busy schedules for months ahead speak volumes of their level of professionalism.


Some professional tile layers went further and, unexpectedly for themselves, launched a new art movement, creating unusual porcelain stoneware products and proving that loving your craft will drive you to find time for creativity.


Andrey Lupich (@rus__prof), a craftsman from St. Petersburg, was the first in the porcelain stoneware art movement.

We have been observing his professional activities on social networks closely, for a very long time, and one day noticed that one of his pieces from his Instagram profile actually became an art piece.


Starting from gray concrete effect porcelain stoneware, 80×80 Millennium Silver, Andrey created a clock that went on to become an art piece displayed in one of St. Petersburg colleges.


Photos and videos of the making of the clock went viral all over the internet, inspiring more craftsmen to follow Andrey’s footprints and start making art themselves. We decided to get in touch with him and ask what inspired him to begin his work.


“When I look at porcelain stoneware, it is more than just tiles to me. The beauty of some of the collections delights me, and lying tiles is not just another square meter of work: it is art.

I understand that porcelain stoneware is a tough material with a lot of character and, while working with it on site, each tile layer goes through many different precise operations that you usually don’t notice. There are numerous operations of trimming, cutting, grinding, and drilling holes, which take a lot of time.

A porcelain stoneware clock is a mix of all the knowledge and techniques that a professional attains during his work: there’s no room for errors. It takes time, endurance, scrupulousness, which are all important when working with porcelain stoneware in order to achieve the perfect results. The work of a true master cannot be measured in square meters: it is experience and time. It is art.


I presented my clock to the dean of the Metrostroy College, and it is now proudly displayed in the building’s foyer. I want every student – especially future tile layers – who walks through that foyer to know what their hands are capable of making great things.


Andrey’s creativity inspired his colleague Grigory Zharin (@ grigori.zharin), another tile layer from St. Petersburg, who went on to carve a bat out of Italon porcelain stoneware.


Why exactly a bat?

“The clients of the site where I worked at that time had a little son, who was a big fan of Batman. When he came to the construction site with his parents, I noticed how bored he was to wait and let time pass while his parents worked on solving all kinds of problems. One day, when the family came to the construction site, I had a surprise ready for the boy: I had carved a bat out of porcelain stoneware. He stopped misbehaving ever since and started keeping his parents company. It was very challenging for me to carve the bat, because it is a highly complex figure with strikingly sharp cutout angles.”


A year later, the professional community was talking about a new artist: a tile layer from Arkhangelsk – Sergei Belyaev (@belyaevsergey_arh) – who crafted a soccer ball from porcelain stoneware.

 As Sergey admitted, he was inspired by Andrey Lupich’s clock. He decided to get creative himself and started looking for a brilliant idea. Almost a year later, he started working on a project using Italon tiles.

“Why exactly a ball? A variety of reasons, really. I was working with porcelain stoneware and I came up with an idea for something that did not yet exist: I wanted it to be unusual, very complex and incomprehensible to the mind. Something that no one else had done before.

I’ve been fond of soccer since I was a child, so it all came together. I was working on a project using Charm Evo Statuario Antracite tiles and everything became clear. My next project involved Surface Steel tiles, so I decided to replace Antracite with them, as I was looking for a darker color. The most difficult thing was to keep the whole process a secret. Only my wife and brother knew, but I had to consult with fellow craftsmen at every stage. “

Three artists, three different stories and three unique outcomes, united by the love for their work and drive to improve everyday. We wish for their work to bring you joy! If you want to be successful in your business, it is important to always love what you do!


Are you ready to take on the #porcelainartchallenge?