About Heritage Tiles
Our Heritage Tile Collection includes handmade tiles carefully crafted by artisans in California and the West coast. These artisans draw upon rich tilemaking traditions around the world, from the strong contrasting Celtic designs of medieval England to the twisting Arabesque patterns of ancient Morocco. In doing so, they preserve the incredible customs and heritage of historic antique tilemaking that have persisted for thousands of years.
The ceramic bodies and glazes are mostly custom and handmade. Each tilemaker has their own formulas and traditions, delicately crafting each collection with their own unique signature.
How Are Heritage Tiles Made?
The tiles from this collection are made using two traditional methods:
- Wet Clay: The wet clay is dried for several days and then shaped into the desired tile. It’s a labor-intensive process, as the artisans must fire the tile twice.
- Dry clay: Craftsmen receive pre-dried clay and then mold it into the desired shape. This process is easier and quicker. However, it limits the sizes and shapes of the tile.
Most heritage tile makers use old Scott electric kilns. These kilns have small capacity but produce unique and beautiful tiles. Each kiln has no more than 30 square feet of space.
Country Floors Collections
The Crossing, Old World Tile, and Olde English Tile Collections are handmade tiles that evoke the historic style of Western Europe. Made by Karen Peterson, the tiles of the Crossing Collection resemble encaustic cement. They have sepia-tinted toned symmetrical patterns that have a vintage feel. In turn, the Old World Tile Collection includes hand-painted tiles in soft hues for a delicate, detailed touch. The Olde English Tile Collection has the image of medieval England, with Celtic-inspired bold flora patterns and gothic royal motifs.
The Royal Delft Tile Collection by the 400-year-old Royal Makkum Company continues the tradition of one of the oldest ceramic tile designs in the world. Originally, English and Dutch craftsmen crafted Delft tiles in the seventeenth century. They were inspired by the striking contrast of blue-and-white Chinese ceramics and depicted scenes from everyday life. Similarly, the Faience Blue Tile Collection harkens back to old tin-glazed ceramic ware that featured vivid blue-and-white patterns.
The Catalina Ceramic Tile, La Brea Moresque, Maroc Glazed Tile, and Miradouro Portuguese Tile Collections all memorialize Iberian and North African tile-making with traditional intricate patterns. Common motifs include twisting, interlocked flora and bold symmetrical patterns that create a feast for the eyes. These richly colored tiles are ideal for kitchen backsplashes and statement walls, evoking a rustic country feel.
For more heritage tile design ideas, check out our blog post: Heritage Tiles: The Union of Tradition and Creativity.