For our third installment of the week we’re looking at a company we have mentioned very briefly before in Doggy Décor. But now they’ll get all the attention they deserve as we take a closer look, and formally introduce you to Arto Brick.
The company’s founder Arto Alajian was born in Alexandria, Egypt and classically trained in the arts. When the Egyptian revolution began Arto fled to Beirut, and when the crisis began in Lebanon he headed to North America. In the early 60s he travelled around America before finding his home in Venice, California.
When working as a milkman, Arto began subsidising his income by making thin lightweight clay brick veneers and selling them to the customers on his route. By 1966 the bricks were so popular he was also to quit his job and begin the company we know today.
Today Arto’s sons Armen and Vod continue his legacy, creating handmade ceramic and concrete tiles in their father’s original Southern California factory. The thin brick heritage is also still going strong with numerous tones and textures offered as facades.
Specialising in soft, earthy tones, Arto’s Roman Tiles demonstrate the characterful richness of oranges, browns, and yellows, as we as the softness and appeal of greys and green. Similarly the Californian Pavers burst with warmth.
The most magnificent of their collections is their Artillo tiles. Gorgeous Arabesque shapes, tonally varied, and tantalisingly textured are simply a delight to look upon. Handpainted decors, unsual shapes, and perfectly scaled patterns give a distinct personality to each series.
Whether it’s the vibrance and character of handpainted motifs, the moody roughness of black Italian porcelain, or the striking luxury of metallic glazes, Arto Brick excells in every level. They also include some of the wonderful work of Giovanni Barbieri amongst their collections.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, August 2021.