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The deVOL Journal

Mayan Sand Handmade Tiles

14th June 2019

By Hannah Livesley

The first addition to our Industrial Collection are these enticing Mayan Sand handmade tiles.

Industrial spaces liberate the raw and unfinished aesthetic and reveal those perfect imperfections often hidden by decoration. It’s a way to celebrate how the space was constructed, from the brick walls, beams, concrete screed floors to the workings of a modern day home, with exposed extraction ducting, heating copper pipes and electricity cables. Not only does this highlight the use of the space but it creates a feature out of all the interestingly textured, detailed and naturally coloured materials.

We see this done so perfectly in kitchen spaces. An exposed brick wall has warmth and character and it creates a subtle pattern that complements all the other objects found in a kitchen environment.

This stunning deVOL kitchen in a Victorian terrace is a quirky space, full of old antiques and an eclectic mix of interesting things collected by the owners. The exposed brick wall is a piece of Victorian history, captured in time along with the stories that go with it. The brick tones are almost neutral and a great contrast to the dark pantry blue coloured cupboards and dark framed windows.

Industrial design is done so well in this space, the extraction ducting is a bold feature and the simple use of a concrete worktop balances the tones from around the room.

Modern day construction is completely different from that of the Victorian era, and exposed brick walls are often confined to the exterior of the home.

Our Mayan Sand tiles are designed to mimic the beauty of an exposed wall and the industrial look this can create.

Made using a versatile clay called Industrial Crank, this clay contains grog, which are tiny bits of pre-fired clay that make it robust and give a sandy appearance when fired. After rolling the clay to form a slab and carefully cutting the tiles out using our specially made tile cutters, our brick look tiles are starting to form.

The bisque fire is the first firing in the kiln and turns the tiles from clay to ceramic. This is where I add another dimension to the detail and apply a wash of black coloured oxide over the tile. I then carefully wash areas to reveal the raw, sandy tile underneath, creating plenty of handmade variances that make up the concept of our three beautiful finishes.

Within the tiles, the different finishes applied are: a clear glaze keeping the tiles light and natural; a light application of black copper oxide for a bronzed appearance and a heavy application of black copper oxide for a burnt appearance.

The combination of the biscuit tones and dark mottling from the wash give an added character and captivating quality. However, an effective look is also created when the finishes are installed independently or in your favourite combination.

The Mayan Sand comes in two lengths, a 100x60mm and a 200x60mm, allowing the different lengths to be blended to achieve different brick patterns. Our favourites are the English and Flemish patterns.

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The Mayan Sand tile has become one of my favourite tiles out of our range. The care and attention put into the tiles throughout the making process and the joy of opening the kiln to reveal the beauty of the different finishes, really makes them special.

The subtle inspiration from industrial design and the marriage of textures and tones, I feel, will create and enhance a considered but less than ordinary industrial space.

If you would like further information about our Mayan Sand tiles, please get in touch. I can be contacted via my email on


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