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Of all the paths a man could strike into, there is, at any given moment, a best path. ~Thomas Carlyle
I make tiles based on William Morris and William De Morgan designs and an increasingly wider circle around that: Morris-ish interests, Victorian culture and Victorian medievalism, early and later Arts and Crafts, Morris & Co., Pre-Raphaelite ceramics, the Rossetti Pre-Raphaelites.
Art made by the people for the people, as a joy to the maker and the user... ~William Morris
Each of these pages contains a listing of all the tiles / articles in its content area. All pages are also listed in the site map.
Arts & Crafts: English, Scottish, American, California. Also in Morris and De Morgan
Pre-Raphaelite Art on tile. Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Waterhouse, and others.
General Victorian - Classic blue and white tiles, nursery tiles and Golden Age fairytale tiles, Victorian themes, although almost everything qualifies as Victorian Tile
Medieval and Victorian Medieval - dragons, bestiary, medieval herbals
Tiles from Textiles - Tiles based on William Morris, Arts & Crafts, Medieval and Victorian textile designs
First Time Here? (You are here)
Getting Started (Designing Your Project)
Most visitors here belong to one of these groups:
Scholars referred from academia.edu or elsewhere who are here for research, not tile. Cut directly to the
Net Surfers who are idea shopping and appreciate the kitchen sink approach. I do that, too. You'll get there faster with the
Customer Installation Photos or
People Looking for Tile for their homes, either period renovations or new construction, who share Morris aesthetic values that allow more personal expression of their taste than mass-market tile can provide.
Getting Started - an brief introduction to decorative tile, and how the Morris Arts & Crafts philosophy is given form in Tudor and Victorian style; English, American, and California Arts and Crafts; Craftsman; Art Nouveau; Pre-Raphaelite, and Victorian medieval installations.
Tile Catalog - The gateway to tile catalogs, galleries, ideas and installation photos. The catalogs will give you an overview but you'll miss out on the many variations and options if you go no deeper. I include some backstory on individual tiles when I know it.
Please read: Not all tiles and colors of every pattern are shown in the catalog and galleries. Some tiles are shown on marble but are also available on ceramic. Follow the links to the product pages to see colors and variations.
If I have your mailing address, I will send an occasional postcard featuring a tile with an interesting backstory, which I intend will be pretty enough for bookmarks and not make its way immediately to a landfill. The point is to remind you of William Morris Tile's existence, not to hard sell anything.
My work is the embodiment of dreams in one form or another. ~William MorrisArts & Crafts Tiles
When William Morris built Red House, his first married home, it became a gathering place for a circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists, Burne-Jones, Rossetti, and others. Red House was designed by William Morris in collaboration with his friend, architect Philip Webb. 'The Firm' (Morris, Marshall, and Faulkner) was conceived with friends after a dinner at Red House, later dissolved, and Morris & Co. formed. Pre-Raphaelite ceramics master, William De Morgan, began his career in stained glass at Morris & Co. but his interests and gift for ceramics inspired him to establish his own tileworks.
At the center of Arts & Crafts, is a philosophy, and a reactionary one at that: To elevate the decorative arts to the level of fine art, and to make them personal and accessible.
William De Morgan Arts & Crafts Tiles
Glasgow School Arts & Crafts
Morris and Morris & Co. Tiles
Tiles from Tapestries and Textiles
Morris Red House and Early TilesVictorian Tiles
The first Victorian tiles were mass-produced inlaid, printed, or Delftware tiles. Morris took exception to what he considered low quality in mass-produced decorative arts but some mass-produced tiles were quite robust. The Arts & Crafts movement was reactionary, advocating a return to the medieval craftsmanship and quality.
Classic Victorian tiles are symmetrical and characterized by geometric shapes, usually mass produced by such companies and Minton Co. Arts & Crafts tiles are a subtype, characterized by natural motifs and bright colors and individual or small-run production methods.
Tiles in the catalog are primarily Victorian, either Morris and De Morgan designs, or, have a Victorian aspect.
Victorian Tile Catalog
Victorian and Golden Age Nursery Tiles
Victoriana: Blue and White Tiles
If others can see it as I have seen it, then it may be called a vision rather than a dream. ~William MorrisMedieval Tiles
Victorians had a strong interest in Medieval art and culture, myths and legends - Chaucer, Camelot and the search for the Holy Grail. William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones met at Oxford, beginning a friendship that would last a lifetime. They traveled through Belgium and northern France, where the Gothic churches left a lasting impression.
Their love of things medieval spanned literature, architecture, painting, bringing the mythic medieval worldview into reality in Red House. Its garden and the walled garden at Kelmscott House, were arranged in a medieval fashion, and Morris and Philip Webb researched and selected the plants he would put there. The house itself, was built along the path that Chaucer's pilgrims would have traveled on their way to Canterbury. Furniture, walls, embroidery was designed and executed by Jane, William and their friends, all in a medieval context.
Morris and the Medieval
Bestiaries, Celestials, Maps, and Monsters
Book of Hours, Herbals, Codices, and Crowns
Bestiary: Dragons, Unicorns, Unusual Pets
Medieval Codices, Gardens and HerbalsPre-Raphaelite Tile
At Morris &. Co., designs for one medium were often translated into another medium. The Pre-Raphaelite artists here are "second wave", primarily Burne-Jones and Rossetti. Artists associated with the Aesthetic Movement ("Art for Art's Sake") is not really Pre-Raphaelite. The Pre-Raphaelite concept is closer to "Art for Truth's sake".
Edward Burne-Jones was Morris's best friend and his mentor-turned-business-partner Dante Gabriel Rossetti was emotionally involved with Morris's wife, Janey. Jane, as well as Morris's daughters, Jenny and May, modeled for his friends. Jenny Morris was the model for the Days of Creation, Rossetti was close to May and even considered trying to adopt her. George Howard also painted both girls.
Art for Truth's Sake
Pre-Raphaelite Art Tile Catalog
Days of Creation Angels
Edward Burne-Jones Briar Rose panels
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Copyright information: Images of tile products on this website are ©William Morris Tile, LLC. They are derivative works requiring considerable creative effort. You are welcome to use the images, with attribution, for any non-commercial purpose, including displaying them on your blog or personal website. You may not use them for any commercial purpose without written permission, including but not limited to creating counted cross-stitch patterns, calendars, or any other commercial purpose. Contact me for images.