Having written about tiles for so many years, if I had kept all of the product samples I have given over the years, my house would have sunk deep into the Sussex clay long ago.
To become a keeper, tiles must either be exquisite, imbued with deep personal significance, or pretty and practical. So, if you look hard enough you will discover a Minton Hollins encaustic tile from the 1980’s restoration of The Palace of Westminster, several sets of British Ceramic Tile’s glass coasters, a few medieval encaustic tiles by Diana Hall, Japanese Raku-effect tiles by Maggie Angus, etc.
One tile, framed, enjoys pride of place in my hall. This round-edged 100 by 135mm organic tile is one of the Etruscan designs from the Arché range by Katy’s Line.
It depicts two robed figures carrying swords and spears, their torsos picked out in gold against a subtle neutral ground that looks as though it was carved from ancient ivory. It is, truly, a magnificent work of art.
At the Tile UK Awards 2000, Katy’s Line won the award for Best Wall Tile for Arché, a stunning series of porcelain tiles featuring Etruscan and Egyptian relief motifs picked out in gold. No prize for guessing who was the lead judge!
Myself and my fellow judges were deeply impressed by the fine detailing, the quality of the images and the superb alabaster effect achieved by this Italian company.
The award was received by Katy’s Line Creative Director, Mario Montanari, the design genious behind what still ranks as one of the ceramic tile world’s finest hours; as these four images show.