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ANN SACKS, leading designer and manufacturer of fine tile and stone, partnered with internationally acclaimed designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, bringing to the marketplace three collections as diverse and storied as the man behind the designs. Known for his bold interiors and unabashed ease to push the boundaries of traditional sensibility with contemporary vibe, and color palette that soars and defines, Lawrence Bullard has become one of the most sought out designers today. With an international list of celebrity clientele, commercial and hospitality projects, and prestigious line of licensing agreements that would make for reading in its own right, Lawrence Bullard adds to the ANN SACKS repertoire with the unveiling of Mousharabia, Eastern Promise, and Hermitage.
“Tiles have been a decorative staple for centuries, exampled on a global scale by gracing the exteriors and interiors of some of the most important buildings in history but yet so attainable – lending its creative edge to the residences of today,” said Lawrence Bullard. “I wanted my collection to reflect that history and embrace the future of design.”
In all aspects of life, Lawrence Bullard follows his heart – travelling throughout the world to feed his inquisitive nature and love for beauty – not only when found in the symmetry, scale and proportion of space, but from nature itself, its irregularity and refreshing surprise. Forever a student of design in all its forms ANN SACKS has found in Lawrence Bullard a kindred spirit, delving into tile as his next expressive medium with robust passion, personality and adventurous spirit… the very ethos behind the ANN SACKS brand.
“One of the greatest experiences of working with ANN SACKS has been the extraordinary artisans they found for me around the world to fashion this collection,” said Lawrence Bullard. “My visions were challenging and my standards are high. They rose to the challenge with amazing resources and tireless attention to detail. I am proud to have been asked to work with them. The results are beautiful, bold, and fresh, and honor tradition, whilst totally appealing to today’s trends and individualism.”
The Mousharabia collection was inspired by the carved wood latticework screens by the same name that incorporate repeating architectural shapes into glorious proportionate works of art. The screens have long captured Lawrence Bullard’s imagination with its varied and remarkable presence referenced throughout Moroccan history and the versatility they provide to transform any room into a contemporary statement in design.
“The fine art of mousharabia has been refined over many centuries,” explained Lawrence Bullard. “ANN SACKS has captured the allure of the ancient design and through the use of ceramics and special glazes modernized it to be both beautiful and practical.”
Each of the tiles has unique characteristics achieved through the tile face’s graphic relief. The raised patterning creates the perfect backdrop for the hand-applied glazes, which pool and break across the surface depending on the glaze consistency, adding to the overall effect of this dimensional art tile.
The raised face and unique glazing of Mousharabia creates a lively play of shadow and light. Its composition makes it completely comfortable in water, bringing forth deepening colors and natural rivulets as the water cast its way down the tile face, making these the perfect visual scene-stealers when used as a pool line, patio edge or fountain installation.
Acceptable for all vertical applications, the designs are equally at home when used in an interior landscape, whether as a commanding feature wall or for a touch of otherworldly glamour as a fireplace surround with its ever-changing surface features.
Mousharabia is offered in five distinct designs: Screen, Agidar, Fatima, Fatima Picket, and Sultan; and, in six colorways: White, Cream, Ember, Gunmetal, Terra Cotta, and Turquoise. Screen, Agidar and Fatima are available in 8”x8” fields, while Sultan is available in 9.25”x9.25” fields.
Handcrafted in Morocco, Eastern Promise is an updated version of the softly honed tiles that flavor the Moroccan landscape, and heralded the world over for its coveted colors and remarkable patterning. Lawrence Bullard draws inspiration not only from his travels, but from his love of the modern interpretations that were made so prevalent in 20th century design.
“The arabesques from Marrakesh and Tangiers, the swirling motifs from Istanbul and Myknos, all these exotic elements tie together with the bold statements found in 1950s Brazilian and 1970s Italian design,” said Lawrence Bullard. “This play between centuries is an important part of the collection, we’ve mixed modern color combinations together with traditional design that becomes this rich cultural exchange and encourages any number of decorative opportunities.”
There is no firing, kiln, glazes or sun-curing used in the handcrafting of Eastern Promise, instead artisans employ an ecologically thoughtful process that dates back 150 years. A mixture of cement, colored pigments, and marble powder are mixed with water to create thin slurry that is then funneled into sections of a handcrafted mold. The mold is then lifted to allow the pattern somewhat marry together. Additional cement and marble paste are made pliable with a small amount of water, dusted over the original form and then pressed to remove all water from the tile. After resting for a day, the tiles are submerged into a water bath to fully hydrate the form. The tiles then slowly dry over a three week period, gaining remarkable strength as the cement and marble fuse together.
Inspired by the fabric and wallpaper designs by Lawrence Bullard, Eastern Promise’s 8”x8” tiles come in eight different patterns, Aladdin, Majorelle, Rio, Gatsby, and Marmounia stand-alone designs, joined by Fez, Marrakesh and Tangier –a series that can be mixed and matched to create any number of eye captivating designs.
Furthering this homage to the extraordinary color and architectural genius that is part and parcel to the Moroccan culture, Lawrence Bullard selected the following colorways for Eastern Promise:
The tiles are suitable for all indoor wall and floor applications, with outdoor use subject to climate and method of installation.
Rounding out these first introductions by Lawrence Bullard is Hermitage mirrored tile. These interpretive tiles take its cues from 20th century design, yet remain true to ANN SACKS’ handcraft by employing the art of 18th century mirror making techniques to achieve the lustrous surfaces.
“There is nothing sexier to me than the use of refined mirror in a project,” explained Lawrence Bullard. “Mercury glass mirrors add mystery and depth, yet originals are hard to find these days and can be extremely expensive. The fact that ANN SACKS is able to offer my designs in what appears to be perfectly aged mirror tiles in various sizes are quite a feat. The look is reminiscent of the decorative art of verre églomisé, a difficult, almost extinct technique mastered by the French in the 18th century.”
Completely handcrafted in the U.S., there are four designs in the current portfolio, three based in nature and one referencing back to Lawrence Bullard’s love of Moroccan art:
“The wonderful thing about these mirrored tiles is they work spectacularly in a private home, to clad a powder room, be inset into closet door fronts, or laid up in an entry, but there is also the commercial aspect that delightedly speaks to my designer instincts,” said Lawrence Bullard. “I see endless possibilities with unlimited, new and exciting uses, whether selected for a posh restaurant, sexy retail store changing room, or creating reflective columns in foyers, or adorning the walls of elevators, and the ceilings of hotels.”
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. Ann Sacks Tile and Stone, Inc., along with Kallista plumbing and Robern mirrored cabinetry and vanities are part of the Kohler Interiors Decorative Products sector. Under its Furniture sector resides Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Inc., Baker furniture, Baker Knapp & Tubbs Showrooms and Baker Stores, and McGuire Furniture Company.
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 ANN SACKS products or showrooms, consumers can call toll-free 1-800-278-TILE or visit the ANN SACKS website at www.annsacks.com.