European Flooring

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blue and White Tile - 18th Century Inspired Cuisine de Monet and 17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile

Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Inspired Designs from Rouen, France
It's been a busy summer for us at Pavé Tile.  Although the world seems to be in a bit of turmoil, there is nothing more zen then art and creative inspiration.  Keep our souls singing with beauty and, at least for me, I feel at peace.  On that note, we are proud to finally offer our 2-3 week (not 4-6 month ETA like many of our competitors) 18th Century inspired Cuisine de Monet and our 17th Century Antiqued Delft Tile.

17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile - Ships  



As an aspiring professional painter, these Blue and White Tiles were a joy for me to draw and paint.  Studying various original Delft Tiles and Blue and White Tiles from 18th Century Rouen, I redrew (and continue to redraw, for the Delft Tile Collection is still growing) my own designs.  It's a challenge technically, for the medium I have to use and the paper onto which I have to paint is simply not oil on canvas (or acrylic on canvas...thumbs up for acrylics, please!) 

The final tiles, I must say, have achieved what François and I wanted for Pavé.  Why is this.  Well, for one we are extremely picky.  And a few things went very right with these collections.  The tile looks and feels old.  That was the main goal.  Using a hand made European terra cotta tile as our bisque with a crackled white opaque glaze, set this tile apart from other antiqued Delft Tiles.  "It's all in the tile, baby!" - as François would tell me.  It would not matter if Vincent Van Gogh or John Singer Sargent painted the Delft Tile themselves, if they painted on a random machine made white tile - their art would be devalued and the tile would leave us feeling cheated.

Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Inspired Designs from Rouen, France
It took one year to obtain the tile we wanted.  Back and forth with one of the best tile manufacturers in Europe - we knew after many prototypes later - we were finally heading in the right direction.  It took another two years to paint for I unknowingly painted the entire collection on the wrong paper.  Oops.  Plus my daughter was only in school half days - so there was juggling to say the least.  What I learned however, is the more I paint, the more I learn.  I in fact, painted and repainted some of the ships, flowers and Children at Play maybe 15 times?  Did I say I was a perfectionist?  And to my eye, I would want to repaint them again...but that's another story.  Luckily I have four more Antiqued Delft Tile Collections to do:  Sea Creatures (they are beautiful - nearly done), Les Paysages, Les Bourgeois, and Les Villageois.  Why do they have titles in French when they are inspired by Delft Tiles?  Why do we only speak French in the home and my daughter's first language is French?  As the French would say, "Pourquoi pas?" 

17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile - Blossoms and Butterflies - The  Lilly


17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile - "Our friend, Goat".


17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile - Blossoms and Butterflies and Children at Play 

17th Century Inspired Antiqued Delft Tile - "Ships".
Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Inspired Designs from Rouen, France 
Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Inspired Designs from Rouen, France 
Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Inspired Designs from Rouen, France 
On looking back at the photos, I realize that these classic Blue and White Tiles - either the Delft Tiles or Cuisine de Monet - is a matter of taste.  However, how creative are designers these days?  Mixing and matching vintage and contemporary elements - like husband and wife team Robert and Courtney Novogratz at SIXX DESIGN (www.sixxdesign.com).  Opening all doors to creativity, throwing out rules of design and going on sheer inspiration and eye for beauty, they create extraordinary living spaces.  They have taught me that mixing these elements - vintage with modern decor or vice versa -make two disparate components  - a sum of it's part. I however love the elegance and lightness of the blue and white tile - with designs that recall history - time spent in the 17th and 18th Century - they are a narratives to  me, little stories that speak to me about life lived long ago.  But I smile knowing these people aren't different than us now...we are all the same, a glorious sum of many parts that we call humanity.  Let's help our humanity in creating more beauty - maybe we will all smile more in these bizarre times in which we live.

À Bientôt,
Emmi Micallef
Pavé Tile & Stone, Inc.

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