Originating in late-nineteenth-century Britain in reaction to the industrial revolution and mass production, the Arts and Crafts movement soon spread to the United States, engendering a renaissance of the applied and decorative arts. Drawing inspiration from nature and from the materials with which they worked, American artisans set out to produce objects of utility and beauty at prices affordable to the masses. The ceramics industry was at the forefront of this movement; potteries across the country created distinctive wares that today are prized by collectors. The Midwest in particular, with the Pewabic, Rookwood, Shawnee, and many other studios, was a major center for art pottery.
Today Motawi Tileworks, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, upholds this rich mid western tradition of creative work in clay. Inspired by the glazes and designs of the Arts and Crafts era, Motawi produces fresh, innovative tile designs with elegant lines and a rich palette of “organic” hues. Considered the finest contemporary examples of authentic Arts and Crafts tiles, Motawi tiles are individually crafted and hand-glazed. This process gives each tile its own unique character and ensures the rich color depth that is a signature of Motawi tile.