The founder of Clé Tile, Deborah Osburn, is a kindred spirit. After starting her blog ‘Tile Envy’ in 2009 with the aim to broaden the public’s perception of tile, she eventually launched an online tile shop in 2012. After garnering a following on her blog of those interested in unique decorative tiles, her online store quickly became a hit. Clé has since become known for collaborating with artists and designers to create some of the most exciting and innovative tile designs on the market.
The American company has found inspiration from across the globe, and introduced Moroccan Zellige into the US market. With a passion for tile and an unwavering belief that good design is timeless, Clé has now taken another large leap forward. In San Rafael, California, Osburn has transformed a warehouse into an enormous new company headquarters.
The 12,000 square-foot building will include a showroom and a teaching space for up-and-coming tile apprentices and artisans, fighting against the extinction of tile craftsmen. This learning opportunity not only enables individuals to develop their craft, but also provides the necessary business knowledge of the industry, and gives the students a space to market their work.
The desire to spread the love of tile across the pond is a noble aim. Nurturing the next generation of tile makers is even more admirable, and a quick look through Clé’s offerings show just how exciting the future of tile can be. The newest collection to grace the shop’s online pages is Fornace Brioni designed by creative director Cristina Celestino.
This collection of terracotta wall tiles was heavily inspired by Italy’s formal gardens and are a nod to topiaries and decorative vegetation. The three shapes work together in a curved pattern and feature natural, earthy tones and deep green. The tile bundle comes with all three shapes necessary to produce the pattern. They come unglazed although a glazed option is offered.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, September 2019.