|4X8 MOTAWI-DARD HUNTER
|MOTAWI 4X8 FLOWERS, FEATHERS AND BIRDS
Motawi Tile is made by the sibling duo of Karim and Nawal Motawi and their staff of talented artisans. Nawal studied sculpture and ceramics at the University of
Michigan and learned tile-making at Pewabic Pottery. She is the stubborn one of the pair and the artistic force behind the Tileworks. Karim, also educated at
the U of M, runs the production studio and teaches tile-making classes. He is the sweet-talking process innovator.
They make Motawi Tile in their Ann Arbor studio using locally produced clay and glazes mixed on site to their own recipes. Their aesthetic influences include
early 20th Century decorative artists such as Mary Chase Stratton, Adelaide Robineau, Louis Sullivan, C.F. Voysey, William DeMorgan, and Dard Hunter. Their
designs have evolved from Nawal’s continuous exploration of historical decorative art combined with some brotherly suggestions by Karim.
The Motawi Tileworks was founded in 1992 when Nawal set up a table at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and was commissioned to create her first fireplace
installation. Six months later she was joined by her brother Karim and they moved the studio into a two-car garage. Today the Motawi Tileworks employs around
20 people and occupies its own 12,600 square foot studio and showroom.
What Is a Motawi?
Motawi is an Arabic name, as are Nawal and Karim. Their father, Kamal, is from Egypt where Motawi is not so unusual. Their American looks come from their
Motawi polychrome tiles are produced in the ancient tile-making process known as ceunca style. "Cuenca" means "basin" and also happens to be a town
and a province of Spain. The term refers to the small raised lines of clay that make up the "basins" into which we put our glazes. Each glaze is pooled by hand
into its area with a glaze bulb. The cuenca process is very similar to the cloisonne jewelry-making process. Every tile is hand-glazed and each is unique.
Motawi relief tiles are essentially bas-relief sculptures which are dip-glazed in a single color.
Motawi Tile is sized to fit together using a 3/16" grout space. The actual size of a Motawi Tile is 3/16" less than the stated or nominal size. Thus a 4x4 is actually
3 13/16" x 3 13/16" square. Motawi field, polychrome and relief tiles are generally 5/8" thick. Each tile has a notch on the back for hanging.
Motawi's art glazes vary significantly in shade, hue and surface quality. This natural variation is intrinsic to their beauty.
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|6X6 RELIEF TILES
|4X4 RELIEF TILES
|6X6 CELTIC TILES
|TILES DISCONTINUED BY MOTAWI
BUT STILL CARRIED BY ARTS AND
|LOOSE MOTAWI TILES WILL NO LONGER BE SOLD;
NAWAL MOTAWI HAS DECIDED TO BE THE ONLY ON-LINE
DISTRIBUTOR OF LOOSE MOTAWI TILES. IF YOU WISH
TO PURCHASE A FRAMED MOTAWI TILE, PLEASE SEE
OUR FRAMED TILE PAGES. ALL OF THE FRAMED TILES
SHOWN ARE IN STOCK AND READY TO SHIP.