At #NeoCon09: Ann Sacks’ Tile as Art

“How do you want your home to feel?” The question serves as an introduction to Ann Sacks’ self-stated intentions and according to the company, “lies at the very heart of what we do… We’ve asked it of everyone we’ve ever worked with — and the answer has rarely been the same.” As a result, the company continues to embrace new ideas, viewing tile as “the ideal way to bring art into any environment… [It] captures every movement in design, color and form throughout history.

Dahlia Collection. Designed by Blake Studio for Ann Sacks.

Yet, regardless of what form it takes, it always conveys a deep sense of emotion wherever it is used.” Manufactured in bulk or crafted individually by hand; $10 a square foot or triple digits; the variety of Ann Sacks products extends beyond pure aesthetics (or emotions for that matter). The three-dimensional, burnt red Dahlia tiles by Blake Studio were introduced at K/BIS and on view recently at the National Kitchen and Bath Association‘s convention in Atlanta. Potentially the most iconic of Ann Sacks’ new designs, these bold tiles have not surprisingly received the majority of press attention. Designed to be composed into dramatic, show-stopping murals, they epitomize the concept of tile as art. Each is made by hand using the age-old Italian technique of Sgraffato, “to scratch,” so it is not surprising that their price-point is more in line with one-of-a-kind art than standard tile. Another dramatic gesture with an equally impressive price-tag ($665/square foot), the mosaic from the Beau Monde Collection creates a wall of billowing roses with each petal as its own individual tile. The mosaic style is inspired by the ancient mosaic art form of Pietre Dura although Beau Monde but presents a fresh and updated graphic interpretation of this elaborate imagery.


Dahlia Collection. Designed by Blake Studio for Ann Sacks.


Bali Collection. Designed by Blake Studio for Ann Sacks.


Beau Monde Collection. Designed by Blake Studio for Ann Sacks.


Robert Kuo Carved Stone Collection. Designed by Blake Studio for Ann Sacks.

Robert Kuo Carved Stone is inspired by traditional Chinese craftsmanship and motifs alongside design elements of Western European Art Deco. Han Bai Yu (Chinese White Marble) and Qing Shi (Chinese Black Marble), fine marbles found in the Hebei Province of China are carved using a chisel and hammer to create intricate designs and finished by with grinding tools used in the traditional jade-carving technique. This same method was once used to carve pieces for Buddhist temples. Vernacular inspirations define the Bali Collection, a unique standing pebble for vertical surfaces available with flooring pebbles in matching colors. The neutral colors and simple forms create a textural surface that can feel simultaneously modern and historic.

“Everyone’s idea of how home feels is different.” Ann Sacks, premier manufacturer and distributor of tile, stone and plumbing products, has created a series of collections to address individuals’ varied desires. From the bold and dramatic Dahlia mural and the glamorous billowing rose mosaic to the Chinese-inspired carved marble and vernacular-driven pebble surfaces, Ann Sacks seeks to address the movements in design, color and form throughout history. Although you’re likely driven to one more than the others, the quality of each design is worthy of appreciation.

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