It’s a year of remote discovery, with new artists, companies, and designs on our radar. We’ve got plenty more companies up our sleeve, but today we’re sharing one that is extremely local to us at Tile Addict – Spicer Tiles.
With humble beginnings, a 15 year old Andrew Spicer left school in 1979 and started his education in the roofing industry where he quickly learnt the value of old-looking roof pegs. Eight years later a walk in the woods exposed him to some of his first fired clay.
And so the story goes that Andrew began his first series of experiments. Testing out the clay, his initial attempt included the use of a wet clay tile and a simple garden fire. Upon its explosion he realised the importance of drying the tiles first and after a quick test in the microwave it was decided that the drying process needed to be much slower.
Many attempts were subsequently made in the greenhouse and in his mother’s stove when finally one tile survived, not fully fired, but all in one piece with no cracks and an orange hue. In 1989 Andrew and his partner Jane finally purchased a gas kiln from Wales and moved to their first business premesis in Wittersham, Kent where they began to produce roof tiles using clay from Stoke-on-Trent. By 1990 they had three employees, and specialised in creating old-looking rustic roof tiles.
After outgrowing their initial premesis, the company moved to an old Chicken farm in 1994 and purchased two additional second hand kilns to keep up with demand. The business continued to grow, producing around 30,000 tiles a month by 1999, and employing their son Adam just over 10 years later, relocating again to a larger premesis and experimenting with types of fuel. Today they’re still creating what they’re best at, handmade peg tiles, as well as some beautiful terracotta flooring.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, April 2021.