Tex-tile© produces an annual collection of relief tiles glazed in any colour, in both gloss and matt, and also offers a bespoke design service. The concept for tex-tile was founded by Candida Wigan in London in 2010, when the first experiments were made imprinting textile materials on clay to create a textured tile. Candida studied both textiles and architecture, and her upbringing in Portugal where there is a rich history of both textiles and tiles (‘Azulejos’) led her to create the tex-tile as a natural synthesis of this twin heritage.
Tiles and textiles ostensibly have little to do with each other – one is hard, brittle, cold, and the other is soft, flexible and warm. However these differences encourage a surprisingly symbiotic relationship. Textile moulds are malleable, making application to clay intuitive, as the mould can peel away gently resulting in an imprint of infinite detail. Through composition and repetition, these otherwise one-dimensional tiles create the illusion of an endless clothed space.
The moulds used to create the tile imprints are formed from compositions of various textiles including lace, embroidery, crochet, and weaves. Conventional and non-conventional materials such as rubber, silk, raffia, rope and leather are used to create designs. In other instances, moulds are created from laser-cut felt.
The tex-tiles are hand made at a workshop in Portugal. Handicraft is an important component in the process; the tiles take time to dry, and they are then fired, glazed and fired again. The production process in itself is rewarding, in that it requires the passage of time - there is something delightfully reassuring about the immutable slowness involved in making tiles, which strikes out against an efficiency-driven age. You can cut the tiles quickly, you can frenetically imprint and glaze, but you cannot alter the fact that clay takes time to dry, and any effort to dramatically speed this up damages the properties of the clay.
Prior to creating tex-tile Candida worked for Adjaye Associates in London and New York and also for Souto Moura Architects in Oporto, Portugal. Candida is a qualified architect by the Portuguese architectural association OASRS and has a Diploma in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture. Candida also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Architecture from the London Metropolitan University, a BA in Interior and Spatial Design from Chelsea College of Arts, and a Diploma in Textiles from Camberwell College of Arts.