05 May 2010

Bon Ton handmade tile

If you took this 1914 illustration by George Barbier from the pages of La Gazette du Bon Ton and reinterpreted it as handmade tile nearly 100 years later, the result would be something like Bon Ton Designs in Minneapolis.

I first saw Bon Ton Designs at the trade show Coverings two years ago and these poppies have haunted me ever since.

Mary Anderson is a tile artist. Kurt Anderson is her husband and business manager. Together, they operate the studio Bon Ton Designs. Mary's designs are original as are her glazes. All of her work is made to order from an extensive catalog and she embraces the opportunity to create truly custom, one-of-a-kind work as well.

You can see the Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Modernist influences on her work, but each of those influences is just that, an influence. Mary's work is clearly a product of now and she pays respectful homage to the great designers of the past. Call it what you will, but I call it art.

You can see the rest of Mary's catalog and installation photos on her website, Bon Ton Designs. Go!


  1. Quite stunning!! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  2. Yummy In my next life I want to make tile

  3. Tiny bits of heavenly effect. A fitted tribute to nature's best compositions. Pieced palette of patterns. Shifting shapes screened through the artisan's stencilled eyes. Oh wow. Poppies haunting, indeed.

  4. Nancie and Rich: Thanks for the huzzahs. Those poppies are a wonder and they remind me of (pick a European country) in the spring.

  5. Wonderful! You've done it again...

  6. I detect overt public nudity in the vintage magazine illustration which led the post. Good thing we are stamping these displays out nowadays, led by the intrepid Attorney General of Virginia:
    If you want to be up-to-date, get in the game! Well, I guess the poppies have won that round...

  7. Rachele: You can say that again.

    Wendy: Thanks!

    Rich: I hadn't noticed that until you brought it up. Bu then again I don't have the schoolboy mentality of a "social conservative." That's a heck of a thing about the VA Attorney General. If you remember, Ashcroft did the same thing at the Justice Department: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1788845.stm

  8. Boys, boys it's art not overt nudity, there's a diff. Ugh< where to begin with you boys.
    PS, there's a much more naked Vivienne Westwood on my blog which is most certainly not art, or pretty for that matter :)
    Happy weekend Paul.

  9. V: That's a holdover from a conversation we were having on Twitter. I need to keep my social media platforms straight!


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