Membland Tiles: Accent Tiles Borders & Backsplashes Fireplace Tiles Stairs
There is no excuse for doing anything which is not strikingly beautiful. ~William Morris
The Membland Hall tile panels (1877), a collaborative effort between William Morris and William De Morgan and the largest scale panel ever produced by Morris & Co., had dimensions of 36 x 63 inches. Panels were installed side by side in an upstairs bath at Membland Hall.
The first Membland tiles were made by pouncing, a painstaking process that required marking the outline with pinpricks, then brushing with a contrasting colored powder. Colors and glazes were then painted on Dutch blanks by hand. For Membland, De Morgan moved quickly to the painted paper technique using his own blanks for each tile:
The pattern (its leading lines only) was drawn in strong black lines on tracing paper and this was pasted onto a sheet of glass. On the other side of the glass was fixed (temporarily) a square of thin paper and the glass, easel fashion, was set up in front of a widow. The lines of the pattern were easily visible on the thin paper and the painter proceeded to follow him with his pigments, filling up the rest of the pattern according to his discretion as to the intensity and so forth of his colouring, a coloured tile or drawing at his side dictating to him the effort required. (Halsey Ricardo, 'Technical Note on the Manufacture of De Morgan Tiles and Pottery' in Catalog of Works by William De Morgan in the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1921).
The finished copy was placed face down on the surface of a tile blank, adhered with sodium silicate and sprinkled with powdered glaze and placed in the glaze kiln.There the pigment fused with the glaze, becoming imprinted on the tile, as the paper burned away.
Membland is available in the original cobalt, the darker indigo, cream, and black:
Other Colors: Some color modifications are possible. See How to Order Tile.
Six of a unknown number of Membland panels survive. These panels have had broken tiles replaced and therefore do not match up in color or dimension, as did the original Morris and Co. panels.
Size: The 66 tile Membland mural is available on 4.25 inch ceramic tiles, with maximum dimensions of 25.5 inches by 46.75 inches. Panels can be scaled to fit a smaller space, on fewer tiles.
Background Colors: The Membland backsplash can be made with backgrounds in cobalt blue, cream, indigo, and black.
The pattern is seamless on the horizontal allowing panels to be installed side by side as originally intended.
Membland 66-tile mural (4.25 inch tiles): $6880 (this page)
Membland Fireplace Tiles: (4.25 and 6 inch tiles, 8-tile and 15 tile panels are available in all colorways, custom sizes available)). See Options.
Even on 4.25 inch tiles, we're still talking 66 tiles, or 47 inches x 26 inches. And if your home is smaller than Membland Hall? Membland accent tiles, borders, backsplashes and fireplace panels are also available.
The William Morris Tile restoration and adaptations of Membland took more than five years to finalize. They are derivative works based on the original Morris design. They are registered by William Morris Tile LLC with the US copyright office and are free to use for non-commercial purposes.
If you want to use Membland for commercial purposes, I've made the original design available. Please start with the original design and create your own version.