Sneak Peek: Local Elements

July 26, 2012

By Jared Ainscough

For our upcoming September/October 2012 issue, Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz explore locally sourced materials in our Elements department. It’s always inspiring to find someone working locally, and creating something truly unique and beautiful. I was surprised to see that Symmetry Tile Works was practically located in my own backyard, yet I had never heard of them. Their “barn-board” tiles are a great example of creativity, artistry and appropriation. They are a clever twist on the “found object,” created by imprinting the dirty boards onto the tiles before firing them. What is left is actually the inverse of the boards’ texture, showing only the negative space. They have taken something as delicate and weathered as barn board and transformed it into porcelain tile that will last generations.

Photos courtesy of Symmetry Tile Works

The other great thing about Symmetry Tile Works is their community involvement. They have established a great program with local schools where they work with students on tiles, and then decorate a hallway with a permanent art installation. It’s another creative way to make tiles, and it gets kids interested in art. Talk about local pride.