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Introducing Emma

Our latest hand painted collection has a special story behind it. It begins on a sailing boat, where our MD, Jamie Robb, first met Emma Sims Hilditch’s brother. Over the years the families got to know each other through their passion for the sport and discovered their creative synergies.

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Emma Sims Hilditch in her studio

Emma, a leading interior designer who is known for her elegant yet contemporary take on the traditional English countryside aesthetic, was fascinated by the craft of designing tiles. After a visit to our workshop, the idea was born to collaborate on a collection of tiles reminiscent of floral wallpaper designs. As with wallpaper, patterned tiles are a great way to add unique character to a room.

To create the collection our hand paint artists, Helen and Kirsty, started by doing sketches of different leaf and flower designs. Each and every aspect of the design was pored over to ensure the details were just right – too many leaves would look fussy while perfect symmetry would be too repetitive. After a few rounds of editing, our favourite patterns were selected and free hand painted onto tiles to test their appearance after firing.

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Our artists paint directly onto the raw glaze

Once the designs were agreed, the glaze was developed. We chose to complement the delicate patterns with a crackle glaze. This type of glaze is carefully created to cool at a different rate to the tile body after firing. As the glaze cools, a network of fine cracks appears through a process known as crazing. The random patterns add a touch of wabi sabi to the delicate hand painting. Each tile is hand stained to enhance the vintage look.

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Emma square 13 x 13cm pattern tiles in flax blue and sage green

The result is a collection that is pretty, fresh and utterly contemporary. Available in flax blue and sage green, the patterned tiles can be used with the specially developed plain tiles in the Emma collection or with colours from our Savernake or Soho collections.


With thanks to Emma Sims Hilditch. Visit her website at


“Your service is outstanding and everyone is stunned by the result. I could not be more delighted.”

Pat Jones

“Marlborough are a trusted collaborator to design unique tile collections which delight our customers”

Rebecca Malon, Head of Design and Product Development Neptune

“We are delighted with our stunning tiles - the colour and finish have brought our kitchen to life.”

Nicky Sweet

“Over 20 years, our brand has relied on Marlborough for specialist colour and glaze development.”

Colin Roby-Welford, MD of Fired Earth

“Superb! Great design advice on combining styles and colours. Thank you for going the extra mile.”

Emma Todd
Marlborough Made