Six not-quite-tile creations for Tile Addicts

Sometimes there are projects and creations that are not quite tile but that implement the same sort of methodology – be it with medium used for mosaics or with tile type materials and motifs used in a unique way. We think they belong in the Tile Addict blogosphere so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best to demonstrate why.

Artist Diogo Machado aka Add Fuel
Artist Diogo Machado aka Add Fuel

1. The Cigar Band House

These unique mosaics are created out of cigar bands. It all began in 1947 in the Dutch village of Volendam where local Nico Molenaar started his unusual collection. With around 7 million cigar bands, the inside of his home became a place full of curious images, featuring iconic buildings, motifs, and sights. After his death his neighbour took over, collecting and adding a further 4.5 million cigar bands to the unique legacy. Read more about the Cigar Band House here.

Image from: @carolinespearing

2. Spray painted ceramics

A real favourite ‘faux tile’ style of ours comes from two special artists – Portuguese Diogo Machado a.k.a. Add Fuel and Catalan Javier de Riba – both of which have mastered the art of creating counterfeit ceramics. Wonderful colours and intricate patterns make these artists’ designs indistinguishable from the real thing when spotted from afar, and fantastically impressive when seen up close. Read more about them here and here.

Conlloga (Castelló, País Valencià)
Add Fuel - Private commission, Portugal, 2018
Add Fuel – Private commission, Portugal, 2018 Photo Credit: ©Diogo Machado

3. Negweny El Assal

From the UK’s own Blackpool comes this intriguing art with a message. Crafted by Negweny El Assal, the aim of these mosaics is to share the environmental impact of cigarette butts. Each piece is created out of butts picked up off the floor by the artist, and repurposed into powerful pieces showcasing the pollution and damage caused by smoking. Read more about his project here.

cigarette art mosaics

4. Qwerty mosaics

There are too many artists to share when it comes to this wonderful form of recycled art. This style has been around for a little while and individuals have found a whole range of ways to reuse the keys, from covering entire walls, to creating portraits, to forming abstract, multi-dimensional installations. Read more about the various artists and styles here.

Audrey Hepburn by Doug Powell used keyboard art mosaic recycled art
Audrey Hepburn by Doug Powell
Boombox by Kay Knight keyboard mosaics recycle technology art
Boombox by Kay Knight


Experimenting with shape, form, and movement, CLAYTHING tests clay’s possibilities, moving away from the view that it is rigid and fragile and instead creating a fabric of sorts. Using clay beads and textile techniques, a unique rigid material is created, out of which sculptures and functional home decor can be made. Read more about it here.

claything flexible clay textile hybrid
Flat Square Stitch (540mm by 500mm)
claything flexible clay textile hybrid
Graphit Weave (1000mm by 1000mm)

6. Lesley Musonda

Mosaics can really be made out of anything and Zambian artist Lesley Musonda proves that even simple paper can create the most magnificent of artworks. Focusing on wildlife to symbolise thoughts and emotions, Musonda ensures that abstract feelings and life experiences have space to be expressed. Read more about her work here.

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, November 2020.

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