Clay and earth finishes by Matteo Brioni

A few days ago we were able to participate in a free presentation for designers on the subject of clay and earth finishes and building materials by Matteo Brioni. We came away from the day quite impressed, not only with the range of natural and sustainable products offered by the Fornace Brioni brick foundry, but also with the technical competence and vision of Mr. Brioni.

We were given a tour of the facilities in Gonzaga (in the province of Mantua, Italy), and a PowerPoint presentation about the characteristics and functions of clay as a building material. Mr. Brioni presented research about the general properties of earth as a building material:

  • the fact that it has very low embodied energy,
  • the information regarding the LCA of the material (Life Cycle Analysis),
  • and its ability to regulate indoor moisture content in humid climates,

just to name a few.

We also observed the last part of a class conducted for those wanting to learn how to apply some of the beautiful Brioni clay finishes. The company offers several courses such as this through their website –

Here are a few of our photos from the day:

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