Working out of a garage they had converted into a studio, Nawal Motawi and her brother Karim started a small art-tile business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Beginning in 1992, they sold their hand-sculpted tiles at art fairs and the local farmer's market. Working out of a garage they had converted into a studio, Nawal Motawi and her brother Karim started a small art-tile business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Beginning in 1992, they sold their hand-sculpted tiles at art fairs and the local farmer's market. Word spread; commissions started coming in; soon the Motawis were in demand.
Today Motawi Tileworks employs about thirty people and creates beautifully designed contemporary art tiles in the tradition of the Arts & Crafts movement. Many designs are inspired by the work of famous graphic artists-such as Dard Hunter-or architects-such as Frank Lloyd Wright-or by traditional textile patterns or Japanese woodblock prints. Others are born solely of Nawal's imagination. But each Motawi tile is an original jewel, embodying a sophisticated color palette and the finest craftsmanship.
In this book, Anne Stewart O'Donnell, editor in chief of Style 1900 magazine, gives an engaging account of the Motawi Tileworks story, from the company's design and manufacturing processes through its unique inventory system. A foreword by Joseph A. Taylor, cofounder and president of the Tile Heritage Foundation, places Motawi Tileworks firmly in the forefront of contemporary tilemakers. The book concludes with a photo essay that leads the reader through the tilemaking process.
Illustrated with about 125 color photographs of individual tiles, murals, and installations, Motawi Tileworks is a must-read for anyone interested in Arts & Crafts design, tiles, and a small-business success story.
See how the Arts and Crafts tradition lives on in the work of Karim and Nawal Motawi.
Admire the resourcefulness of artisans running a small, localbusiness.
Appreciate the beauty of ceramic tiles made by hand from local materials.
Learn how Motawi tiles are made: a photo essay takes you through the artisanal process.
Anne Stewart O'Donnell received an MA in the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American decorative arts from a program jointly offered by Parsons The New School for Design, The Smithsonian Associates, and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Editor in chief of Style 1900 magazine, O'Donnell has researched and written extensively on the Arts & Crafts movement in the United States and abroad.
Joseph A. Taylor is the cofounder and current president of the Tile Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization charged with recording and preserving the history of tilemaking in the United States. Initiated into the world of tiles at McIntyre Tile Company in Healdsburg, California, in the 1970s, Taylor has been a principal contributor to many tile-related publications and served as editor for California Tile: The Golden Era, 1910-1940, published in 2003.