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04 Dec 14 clé Elements Collection


clé has introduced the Elements Collection, handcrafted by British ceramicist Boris Aldridge. The Elements Collection is comprised of square and hex shapes of hand formed stoneware tiles in 7 nature inspired elemental colors. The 4″ tiles are either solid ceramic or filled with crushed glass, either turquoise or recycled white, that has been melted and cooled, creating a crackled effect.


Boris Aldridge mixes his own glazes, brushing each tile with several layers of color to achieve a painterly effect of depth and complexity. The tiles can be installed indoors and out, on vertical and horizontal surfaces. See clé Rorschach Tile Collection by Timorous Beasties.

The new Elements Collection is filled with the nuances of Aldridge hand. From his surface undulations and glaze flow, to the pooling of their recycled glass interiors, Elements is aptly named. Each of these surface characteristics are full of the forming, painting and carving of a master craftsman whose expertise allows for a porcelain collection of masterful modern imperfection. clé.


Tags: clé, Collection, Elements

28 Oct 14 clé Rorschach Tile Collection by Timorous Beasties


clé introduces the Rorschach Tile Collection designed by Paul Simmons and Alistair McAuley of Glasgow based Timorous Beasties. The Rorschach Tile Collection is comprised of 5 designs and hand lithographed on 12″ x 12″ limestone or thassos marble tiles. Inspired by traditional damask motifs, which originated in the 9th century, Timorous Beasties have integrated the classic pattern with Rorschach conceptual imagery.


The combination of a familiar medieval motif and a modern blotch-pattern believed to unlock the subconscious has resulted in subversive floral abstractions. Simmons and McAuley use hand drawing, marbling and puddles of ink to achieve their new damask imagery.


According to Simmons, these tile patterns are a reversal of the expected. Blotches, splats and drips are normally regarded as disordered accidents. By re-contextualizing the damask and using it as a vehicle to carry Rorschachesque symmetrical imagery, we have created beauty out of something conventionally repellent. In fact, by interrogating assumptions about pattern this way, we discover a new aesthetic, a new beauty.


Deborah Osburn, founder and creative director of clé is delighted to welcome Timorous Beasties to the family of tile artisans. She says, I’m an anglophile at heart, enraptured with the culture, history, people, land, flora and fauna of the british isles. Hence, my discovery, several years ago, of the masterful works of Timorous Beasties left me captivated with their self-described urban, edgy, irreverently elegant revisions of the classic designs of Victorian England. I have longed to collaborate with these masters of decorative motif. It is with great pleasure and pride that clé introduces a new chapter in our gallery of artists collections. cle.



Tags: Beasties, clé, Collection, Rorschach, tile, Timorous

22 Nov 13 clé 17th Century tile collection


clé introduces the 17th Century tile collection, designed by Deborah Osburn for Tilevera. The collection of 12″ x 12″ limestone tile was inspired by 17th century delftware that had its origins in China and made its way across Europe. Tilevera honors the classic combinations of blue and white, yellow and magenta while bringing delft into the 21st century.

quatrefoil in magenta

Osburn has expanded the original delftware colors to a modern palette of pink, grey, green, teal and persimmon. Each 12″ x 12″ limestone tile is either hand painted or hand lithographed in one of 6 patterns – acanthus, holly, tulip / carnation, diamond / circle, fleur de lys and quatrefoil. In the 17th century method of creating patterns, four tiles meet in the center to comprise a singular design. The tiles can be installed indoors or out, on walls and floors.

diamond / circle in delft blue

Osburn says about her collection, I’ve always loved the historic floral patterns found in European tile, the lyricism is captivating. With this collection I wanted to punch up elegant four hundred year old designs with the pop of contemporary colors and an amplified 12″ x 12″ size. The tile can still be hand painted just like it was centuries ago or we can use a lithography process, adding a little technology to the mix. With the resurgence of delft in fashion and design, I’ve recently been asking myself, is delft the new black?

fleur de lys in yellow

Osburn, who has her BFA in sculpture, has been designing and manufacturing tile for the past twenty-five years for her company Tilevera. In 2012 she started clé, the international artisan tile e-boutique. The tiles on clé are as distinct as the artists who create them. It is Osburn goal to provide a forum for discovery and conversation about what she loves most, tiles created by impassioned artists creating remarkable surfaces. The 17th Century collection is available exclusively from clé.

holly in grey

acanthus in teal

tulip/carnation in turquoise


Tags: 17th, Century, clé, Collection, tile

16 Aug 12 Modern metallic tile by clé


clé introduces metallic tiles in porcelain, ceramic and limestone that have been painted, glazed, and printed with the glimmer of silver, gold, iron, platinum, and copper. Each artist has interpreted the glory of metal in their own way from the manipulation of intense heat to delicate brush strokes. In Italy, Adriano Ricchetti at Il Monile has devised a way to turn gold voluptuous, using his technical virtuosity to fuse ceramic with glaze until the two become one. Along with gold, the Byzantina rectangle series includes iron, platinum, and silver.


Brenda Bates creates her Welbeck tile in her potter’s studio in Cornwall, England. Fascinated by aquatic life in the Celtic Sea, Bates has created the Coast Collection, immortalizing sea stars in hand made tile, delicately painted in 24 karat gold and platinum. Her Platinum Collection is a study in abstraction, using metallics to define irregular shapes.The weight of the precious metals against the delicate translucent glaze causes the random crackled surface.

The clé Classic Tile Collection has taken the traditional material of porcelain and rendered it modern with faux metal finishes of oxidized steel, iron and copper. The Metallic Porcelain series allows for installation of a tile where weight or temperature would be problematic for metal. The tile slabs are 13″ x 40″ and can be installed on floors and walls, indoors and out.

The Dutch artist Hanneke Steenmetz silk screens her Shakespeare inspired graphics onto limestone tile for her Studio H. Although all of her images are available in gold, silver and copper, how is it that a crown could be anything but gold? clé founder and creative director Deborah Osburn searches the world for remarkable hand crafted tile. She says “Metallic functions as the perfect counter point to warm surfaces. It reflects light adding sparkle and allure. There are as many qualities to the shimmer of gold as there are artists producing the color, and we’re proud to offer the most tantalizing.” The tiles on clé are as distinct as the artists who create them. It is Osburn’s goal to provide a forum for discovery and conversation about what she loves most, tiles created by impassioned artists creating remarkable surfaces. clé.


Tags: clé, Metallic, Modern, tile