top of page

Visit to Craven, Dunhill, Jackfield

A superb trip to the Craven, Dunnhill, Jackfield factory in Ironbridge where were able to see where and how the the new tiles for the repair of the Sanctuary at St. Michael & All Angels Church, Hathersage are to be made.

We were in good company, surrounded by the new tiles for the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament!

The existing beautiful William Butterfield tiling contained within the church contains a patterned tiled which is not just a traditional encaustic tile, but has a yellow enamel applied to the top surface; a technique that was only (reportedly) used during the early to mid 19th century. The enamel gives a vibrancy to the yellow that could not be achieved using a plain unglazed encaustic tile. The glossy finish picks out the design but without the danger of a slippery, fully glazed tile.

The enamel has warn down on some tiles, resulting in the yellow slightly "dulling". This raises the philosophical question of do we match what's there now so as not to visually contrast too much with the existing floor tiles, or do we manufacture tiles that are true to the original colour and technique as a record of how they would originally have looked? Having decided on the latter, identifying what is a true depiction of the original colour is not easy - thankfully, during the 1970's work, bits of those tiles which were broken have been found under the floor and are significantly less worn, having been saved from the wear of the past 40 years.

In the procurement of the new, replacement tiles, we are investigating the different approaches to replicating this technique to achieve a finished floor that is visually harmonious, but also historically true to the original elements of the floor. A number of different samples were prepared, using a brighter yellow in a traditional encaustic tile and a variety of different colours of enameled glaze. The samples now on site, it is a case of choosing the best match - not easy in a currently very poorly lit building!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page