Welbeck Tiles - A Chance Meeting!
Posted on 21 March 2013
Last summer my friend Lorna showed me some beautiful tiles her husband had bought her, really pretty floral tiles that I thought I'd seen before. I had a vague recollection of seeing them in little boutique shops when in Cornwall, I knew they looked familiar but I couldn't place where I'd seen them before. They had a patchwork look to them, a shabby chic style, so naturally, they automatically appealed!
Then, in September, I drove along the main road between Perranuthnoe and Praa Sands in West Cornwall and saw a familiar sign advertising a local business who made tiles, set back from the road in a lovely house with a selection of outbuildings. Having passed it numerous times over the years, I noticed they often had a closed sign up so I always drove straight past. However, when I stopped to check their opening times, I saw the owner waving me in. Couldn't believe my luck when I realised this was the very same place that produced my friend's gorgeous tiles!
Brenda owns Welbeck Tiles and along with her husband, they produce hand made and hand decorated tiles. The reason their closed sign had been up so frequently was because they were working on a massive commission for a top secret customer. They were tasked with producing and decorating a huge quantity of tiles, but we were warmly welcomed in and had the chance to look round not only the showroom, but Brenda's studio and kiln area.
When I walked in, I didn't know where to look first, so I will just describe it with pictures! This display won an award at the Country Living Spring Fair...
They can produce anything you like, on a tile...
Some postcards on tiles, these were AMAZING...
I suppose if you were to 'vajazzle' a tile, this is what it would look like. Beautiful gold...
Just like Lorna's tiles, I knew I'd seen them before!
Now who wouldn't want a tile display in their bathroom, kitchen, etc that looks like this?
The postcards on tiles looked fantastic. I bought an old London postcard along with an old St Michael's Mount version too. No, I haven't done anything with them yet, but they are beautiful to look at! Welbeck Tiles are actually able to produce any design on a tile, whether it's a personal postcard, a family photo, a logo, anything.
I also got a tour of Brenda's own working studio and kiln area. I won't share her trade secrets but it was fascinating! Brenda has worked in ceramic design for years and has designed collections for some amazing companies: Bergdorf Goodman and the David Linley furniture company being just a couple of examples. She has since produced ceramic tiles for beautiful retail displays, corporate clients and personal clients with very specific requirements.
I was like a child in a sweet shop, I didn't know where to look first! If you get the opportunity to visit Welbeck Tiles' studio please do stop (if they're open, I don't necessarily recommend gate crashing!). You can view more about the company on their website and please do follow them on Facebook. Thank you Brenda and sorry for taking so long to post this. Hope to see you again this summer!