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Character building

When it comes to creating a unique and charming interior, we at Marlborough believe it’s all in the detail.

This season, we introduced three stunning new tile collections on our hand pressed, artisan biscuit. Each of the thirty two colours across these collections is available as a rustic plain tile and in four timeless hand piped relief designs, created by our artists.

These are the first hand piped tiles that Marlborough has created in more than 60 years, and we were keen to create something that would offer a modern take on a traditional process.

Hand painting artist Kirsty has worked with Marlborough Tiles for more than 30 years. She explains, “I took inspiration from our archives of vintage fabrics and wallpapers, playing with different elements and developing them into unique patterns.”

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Halcyon square brick in Wild Rose, with hand piped Margot, Florence, Ettie and Clara patterns.

The result is the creation of four timeless hand piped relief designs: Ettie, a wonderfully intricate vintage pattern; Margot, a pretty petal motif; Florence, an ornamental curvaceous abstract; and Clara, a fluid wave design.

Each pattern is piped by our artists’ hands directly onto the raw biscuit - or base - of the tile, using traditional techniques. Our artists experimented with a variety of materials and processes, eventually choosing to pipe the patterns directly onto the raw, unglazed tiles in thickened engobe using a tool much like a pipette.

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The hand piping process is truly a thing to behold. While Kirsty is too modest to say so herself, we can tell you that achieving the delicate, smooth, even lines on these tiles takes extraordinary skill and a deft hand. These methods mean that no two tiles are exactly the same; each piece is unique and a true work of art.

After the pattern is piped onto the raw tile, it is glazed using the waterfall technique, which involves pouring an even stream of glaze across the surface of the tile. Depending on the colour we wish to achieve, up to three layers of glaze are poured onto each tile to achieve the perfect nuance and depth.

So, how to use the tiles in your space?

Jamie, owner of Marlborough Tiles loves to see the relief tiles used in a panel. “In particular, the Ettie design, used en masse, creates the most wonderfully intricate and characterful pattern.”

You can also create interest by dotting a few decorative tiles amongst other tiles in the same colour or palette, or use them to create a border or frame above a sink or an Aga.

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Ullswater square brick in Wool, with hand piped Ettie pattern.

If you’re undecided about the right colour or pattern for your project, or if you simply need help figuring out how many tiles you’ll need, please get in touch. Our design team is here to help.

“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