Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cement Tile Designs: From Antiquity to Tomorrow

In my last blog article, I wrote about the mosaic tile floors of Fishborne Roman Palace in Sussex, England. This article will explore how ancient designs still have a place in modern life.


Designed by Joanne Bradley

Unlike the Roman rulers, most of us do not have the time or money to have elaborate tile mosaics fashioned for our floors. However, all is not lost. While the cost of replicating an ancient masterpiece may be beyond our means, we can still enjoy the patterns on our own floors. Patterns from antiquity can be adapted to the materials used today. Let us consider the humble, hard-wearing cement tile that is available in ever increasing designs and patterns.

Typically, cement tile comes in 8" x 8" and 10" x 10" sizes. To recreate the old patterns, on tiles of this size, the first step is to identify repetition in the original pattern.


Designed by Joanne Bradley

In this first example, the simple geometric pattern of a Fishborne floor has been reproduced in a single tile that works well in a repeating pattern. The colors in the reproduced pattern were chosen from Avente Tile's Heritage Cement Tile Color Palette.


Photography by Joanne Bradley



16 Tile Layout
Designed by Joanne Bradley

A single cement tile replaces hundreds of tessera in a design. In the following adaptation, the pattern was inspired by the first century mosaic in the west wing of Fishborne Roman Palace. The floor was re-buried to protect it. The original was created using black and white tessera.


16 Tile Layout
Designed by Joanne Bradley

This guilloche border pattern is adapted from a circular design, necessitating the creation of a corner pattern to create a square frame.


Guilloche Edge
Designed by Joanne Bradley

In this final design, for this article, the pattern requires two tiles. It is similar to the running edge design at the top of this post. It took several attempts to adapt the pattern and, in its current form, there are limitations on how the design can be used. The design was inspired by a floor at Bignor Roman Villa, but similar patterns can be found in other places.


Two Tile Pattern - 16 Tile Layout
Designed by Joanne Bradley

Which pattern and color palette inspires you to create your personal design?

About the Author
Joanne Bradley takes an interest in architecture through the ages. Using photography to capture designs and details, she uses the images as inspiration for digital designs.
Post a Comment