A friend of the Motawi Tileworks, Yoshiko Yamamoto has joined with Nawal Motawi to create an exquisite collection of tiles based on her original works and classic Japanese themed wood cuts. Yoshiko has emerged in the past couple of years, as a superb block print maker and designer of greeting cards, posters and book covers. Yoshiko and her husband Bruce Smith run the Arts and Crafts Press based in Olalla, Washington.
The Motawi Tileworks has joined with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to create a stunning collection of authentic Wright tile designs. The collaboration has allowed Nawal Motawi to search the Foundations' archives at Taliesin to rediscover these classic designs. According to Nawal, searching the archives was "an artists dream come true."
Working from original Wright drawings, Nawal and the skilled craftsmen at Motawi Tileworks have captured the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright in their trademark style and quality.
Since 1992, the artisans at Motawi Tileworks have hand crafted art tile in their Ann Arbor, Michigan studio. These distinctive tiles are known for their rich glazes and uniquely American designs, inspired by nature, art and architecture.
Motawi Tileworks has focused on two distinct decorative styles. The “Relief” tiles have a sculptural quality in low-relief and are colored with a single glaze. The “Polychrome” tiles have many colors separated by a tiny ridge of clay. A third type of tile made at Motawi is the hand dipped field tile (plain tile).
Motawi tile designs are a blend of art from the turn of the century and the Motawi’s design sensibility. The designs are brought to life by a tile-making process, which is a journey itself. Improving their techniques of pressing, glazing, and mold making is a bit of an obsession in the studio. The artful tile—the outcome of this shared obsession—is evidence that owners/creators Karim and Nawal Motawi and their artisan team is at the top of their craft.