Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept that encourages people to search for the beauty in imperfection. It is a philosophy that accepts perfection is impossible and that all things, like life itself, are impermanent. A fabulous antithesis to the modern world that has a preoccupation with materialistic wealth and unattainable perfection.
In keeping with the Wabi-sabi concept is the rise in popularity of handmade zellige tiles. Zellige tiles are intrinsically characterized by irregular sizing, chips and dimples in the glazing, uneven surfaces and uneven colouration — features that are considered imperfections by most contemporary standards. The rise in appeal of these handmade tiles forms part of a greater trend towards biophilic design and a quest for closer connections to nature and raw materials in our interiors.
The Wabisabi tile collection is a new range at The Tile Depot that has been inspired by handmade zellige tiles. Unlike authentic zellige, where every step of the tiles production is by hand, Wabisabi is a mass-produced factory porcelain from Italy inspired by the zellige aesthetic. Available in 50 x 150mm, these petite subway tiles replicate bejmat tiles, a rectangular zellige format.
The Wabisabi collection captures all the variations in size and depth inherent in the handmade product, as well as uneven surfaces and variation of shade. However, where it differs from the authentic zellige is its more “perfect” finish, thus making it an ideal option for those who appreciate the textural effect of the zellige tiles but not the chips and dimples in the glazing.
The Wabisabi tiles also offer alternate colourways and a matt finish, that also differs from zellige, as well as a more durable glazing and a porcelain biscuit. As such Wabisabi tiles can be laid on both interior floors and walls and even inside swimming pools without risk of abrasive wear or water absorption. Differences between the sizing and depth of the Wabisabi tile pieces are part of the intended aesthetic and really capture the character of hand worked clay and artisan craftsmanship.
A fabulous collection initially stocked in eight colourways.