Tiles, tiles, tiles

First of all let me say that I know next to nothing about tiles, neither cement nor ceramics. I have admired them where I happened to see them, no matter if vintage or at a shop, but I never saw them as inspiration for my own work, mostly because I don't carry a notebook and usually forget right pretty quickly what I saw.

All is not lost, though, thanks to my friend Susanne. She lives in Spain, she collects cement tiles and does research if she gets a chance, and she has even written a book about José Maria Tejera, a tile producer.
Her blog about cement tiles can be found here, and there are pictures of wonderful and inspiring patterns.
She suggested that I should use tile patterns in my bead looming. For the longest time I didn't do that, for several reasons.
My brain is old and often unable to deal with the flood of inspiration. I keep forgetting that I wanted to try this or that.
A more practical reason is that Delicas and seed beads are not square, no matter what you try. Tiles are not only square most of the time, but also often radially symmetrical as Susanne told me, and that is something that I can't translate into a piece of wearable jewelry of an ordinary size, especially not for the complex patterns.

From Susanne's blog

What I can do is use the simpler geometric designs that also look good as rectangles, and change colors.

Lilac, eggplant and silver tile pendant

I can pretend to have used four tiles - can you see them in the pattern? - and use warm and earthy colors.

Tile pendant in oranges and reds

I can go wild with the colors and really make a piece shine ... silver lined beads all over ... and add matching dagger dangles.

Shiny red, golden and orange on grey tile pendant with dangles

And I can take a basic design and play with it until I get something different.

Opal white and blue tile pendant

I'm nowhere near being done with this. I can make bracelets, and I will try to find something that will work for earrings.

Let me bow to the tile makers and to Susanne for creating a new addiction. I hope this will be the beginning of a collaboration!! 

And here's the link to her blog again, it's in English, German and Spanish.
Cement tiles / Zementfliesen / Mosaicos hidráulicos


  1. Those are stunning!! Earrings done on a diamond shape? Square turned on point, That way you can do a small pattern from a tile or just one "square". Love your work!

    1. Thank you so much, Gail!
      That's an idea I'll definitely play with!