The dining table at Berdoulat was once the boardroom table at a ceramics factory in Forest Gate. The factory belonged to my great grandfather. Up until WW2 when it was bombed, it produced tiles for pubs, tube stations and public lavatories all over London. They were even commissioned to make tiles for the High Altar at Buenos Aires Cathedral (randomly enough). They also helped develop a technique that uses photosensitive glaze - amazing that photography should have been used in tile making when it was still in its infancy.
My parents have started to make ceramics in their retirement, with wonderful results. They are currently working on a series of tiles illustrating Lorca poetry. Yesterday we went to visit the studio where they make their work and I photographed the series in its current state - biscuit fired, awaiting glaze.
As a child, when my father moved house, he jumped out of the removal van as it was just about to leave the driveway, and went, chisel in hand, to remove some beautiful almond blossom tiles from the loo wall. They now hang on their drawing room wall.
I too am doing a ceramics course one day a week which I am really enjoying. Indeed, I successfully threw my first pot last week. I plan to make some more tiles shortly and will add them to this gallery.
Image 1 | My great grandparents
Images 2-7 | Tiles from my great grandfather's factory
Images 8 & 9 | Almond Blossom tiles
Image 10 | A set of four tiles made by my mother of children playing
Images 11-13 | My parents' work in progress...