New Shagreen tile by ANN SACKS® makes striking use of exotic material
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 24, 2012) –ANN SACKS, a premier manufacturer and distributor of tile, has long seen opportunities in unusual materials, and its new Shagreen collection of tiles composed of stingray skin is an exceptional example of this propensity. Featured at the 2012 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Chicago, ANN SACKS has created a fresh and unexpected medium for shagreen, long prized for its tactile quality and characteristic pointillist pattern.
While shagreen can feel quite rough because of the tubercles that occur naturally on the stingray’s skin, Shagreen for ANN SACKS is slightly sanded to create a smoother surface that emphasizes the hide’s granular quality. Each Shagreen tile is composed of the spine and skin of a stingray bordered in bone and features a spine marking called a “star” centering on the top. Available in black, Shagreen comes in 8”x10”, 5”x8” and 4”x5” tiles that can be used individually or together to form a modular pattern.
The difficulty of processing the skins and its durable, yet draping nature has always made shagreen a rare luxury item. Coveted as far back as ancient times, examples include artifacts dating from the Chinese Han Dynasty; armor and decorative pieces found in the tombs of the Pharaohs; and, by 8th century Japanese Samurai warriors, who used shagreen to strengthen and decorate their shields and swords. Its exotic nature, unusual texture, and extreme durability also made it fashionable with European aristocracy – receiving recognition as a highly desirable material by the court of Louis XV. The king had myriad pieces designed by famed 18th century master leather maker, Jean-Claude Galuchat, who not only introduced shagreen into palace society, but the actual spelling of his name was altered from Galluchat to Galuchat, which means shagreen in French. Shagreen was also a repeated element within the designs of prolific 20th century French designer, Jean- Michel Frank, whose works continue to be sought out and acquired by collectors the world over. It also resides among the many treasures found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses an impressive shagreen collection within its hallowed halls to share its prized and storied past with patrons. More recently, it has seen a resurgence becoming a favorite of designers that incorporate the instantly recognizable speckled patterning to give their designs a cachet few other materials can match.
Founded in 1981, ANN SACKS has built its reputation with inspiring designs in tile, stone, plumbing, lighting and accessories. Based in Portland, Ore., the company is a division of the Kohler Co. Interiors Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohler Co., which also includes Kallista plumbing, Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Inc., Baker furniture, Baker Knapp & Tubbs Showrooms and Baker Stores, McGuire Furniture Company, and Mark David hospitality furniture.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home interiors, and international host to award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.
For additional information regarding Shagreen or other ANN SACKS products, consumers can call toll-free 1-800-278-TILE or visit the ANN SACKS website at www.annsacks.com.