People often ask why we specialise in Japanese tiles. In addition to the obvious beauty and elegance of our tiles from the Tajimi region of Japan, there are some less apparent reasons.
Japanese Ceramic production entered its golden age in the 16th Century with military commanders being gifted tea sets; the higher the quality of ceramic/glaze, the greater the honour and social standing. The competition for the best commanders resulted in innovation and skills in the master craftsmen of the time that are still evident in the tiles we offer today.
The Significance of Tajimi:
Tajimi is located on an ancient lakebed, where the primordial silts that settled on the lakebed, now clay, are used to create some of the world's highest-quality porcelain. As a result, Tajimi is the Japanese centre of excellence for both pottery and tiles.
From Clay to Porcelain:
In Tajimi, the fine clay is fired at temperatures exceeding 1200C for 24 hours, while the ‘Japanese Inspired’ tiles from China use low-quality clay, fired below 800C for 12 hours. The high temperatures and quality clay ensure a very low water content within the body of the tile, ensuring a long life and frost resistance. Even as your building ages and deteriorates, the tiles will still look like new.
Traditional Production Techniques:
The industry in Tajimi is very traditional, and much of the equipment used has not changed for decades or centuries. These small factories produce tiles during a regular 8-hour day, ensuring a high-quality product. Copies from China are mass-produced 24 hours a day.
The beauty of imperfection in the glaze of our Japanese Tiles is undeniable, these naturally occurring patterns ensure that no two tiles are the same but work in harmony with each other to create a visual feast. In contrast, copies from China use ink-jet printing to create their patterns.
Artistry in Mounting:
Our tiles often have a wide variation in colour due to the natural reaction of the glaze in the kiln and the position of a specific tile in the kiln. Senior staff in Tajimi carefully assemble the individual tiles onto their sheets in a way that is pleasing to the eye.
Selective Sales Partnerships:
Japanese manufacturers carefully select very few distribution partners to represent them in global markets.