Monday, March 5, 2012

Antigua del Mar Tile

In my previous post, I visited the home of Lorna Auerbach, owner of Antigua del Mar Tile, based in Santa Monica. As promised, here's a look at the artisanal Spanish tiles that she deals in.

A sample board with several patterns.

Antigua del Mar is a consortium of ceramic tile artists with studios throughout Spain—artists that Lorna has sought out on many trips to Andalucia and other regions of Spain.

These are handcrafted tiles, made in the same manner as those created from the 12th through 18th centuries, and using patterns that are historically authentic. Unlike industrially produced high-fire tiles, they exhibit slight variations in pattern from tile to tile, the sign of true hand-craftsmanship.

Many of the tiles she offers are documented in definitive reference books on the topic, such as Alun Graves'
Tile and Tilework, published by London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Lorna used many of the handmade tiles in the design of her Pacific Palisades residence. They are especially effective in the exterior cladding of the Moorish arch windows shown in my previous post.

The tiles used in the photo above.

Spain's seven centuries of Moorish rule, from 711 until 1492 AD, resulted in an abundance of intricate geometric patterns, both rigorous and playful, figurative decoration being forbidden under Islamic law.

But aside from abstract Moorish-influenced designs, Antigua del Mar's Spanish artisans also re-create later figurative works in ceramic, such as this multi-tile plaque. Custom work is also welcome.

Followers of interior design may have noticed Lorna's recent ad in the current March-April issue of Veranda.

While the majority of the artists that Lorna works with are traditionalists, their ranks include some who are using cutting-edge technology to re-create the past. The exquisite marble tile below is cut using a computer-guided laser. The pattern is sharply defined, but variations in the material itself assure that each tile will be absolutely unique.
Contact Lorna at Antigua del Mar at 310-315-9870 or

Many thanks again to Lorna Auerbach for her generous hospitality in producing this and the previous post.