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These days we tend to think of ceramic tiles as mainly funtional, but they also possess a particular beauty which has played a major role in thier development through the ages. There have been periods throughout history where, in many places of the world, ceramic tiles have flourished primarily as decorative, adorning numerous palaces & public places. Increased movement along trade routes, wars, political unrest and religious fervor have all played a part in the blending of cultures. The subsequent exchange of artistic ideas, techniques and materials lead to the evolution and development of tile making. Since ancient times skilled craftsmen and artizans have been respected members of many societies, often employed by the governments of thier countries and traveling to centers of commerce & wealth to practice thier skills.
The tradition of hand crafting tiles which dates back to prehistoric mans first recognition of clay as an artistic medium is experiencing a present day renaissance throughout North America with hundreds of small artistic tile studios emerging and many large manufacturers refocusing thier production to include decorative ceramic tile lines.