It’s fascinating to see what happens when young designers take inspiration from traditional products and processes and rework them into something familiar but with a fresh, new twist that’s entirely their own.
StoryTiles are the work of Dutch artist and designer Marga van Oers who tells stories via the medium of the famous 16th century Dutch White and Delft Tiles. I came across them at the Design Junction show in September and was completely captivated. The small, square tiles are both simple and incredibly complex at the same time, with their juxtaposition of delicately detailed – and often quite surreal – images laid onto the robust tiles with their imperfect glazes and slightly irregular edges.
The StoryTiles collection is comprised of two series – Old Dutch tiles, and Modern tiles. Here are a few of my favourites from the Modern series:
There’s a sense of mystery and suspense around the images and they really do leave you wondering what the story behind the scenes depicted may be, and what could be about to happen next. Just like the best fairy stories, some tiles have darker, more disturbing overtones, like these two featuring a Red Riding Hood character:
The Old Dutch Tiles Series use traditional blue and white tiles to which Marga adds her unique and quirky collages and images, creating an arresting and humorous blend of traditional and contemporary:
I think the tile above, ‘Walking the Goat’, is my favourite from this series.
Almost all tiles are available in three sizes: Small 10×10 cm, Medium 13×13 cm and Large 20×20 cm – here are the three sizes above, from the Modern Collection.
The StoryTiles have a little hook on the back for hanging on the wall but can equally be used to tile a wall just like a normal tile, or are perfect for creating little vignettes, either propped up or hung on the wall.
Marga can also create your very own personalised, custom StoryTile, like the one above, to tell whatever story you like with characters from your own life. What a fantastically special present these would make for any number of occasions and celebrations, or even just because.
Visit Marga’s website – www.storytiles.nl to see all her magical stories and to visit her online shop.