Inspiration for Tangent “Ipanema” & “Ripple” Patterns

In my last blog post, I introduced our new collection Tangent. Today, I will share some of the inspiration behind Tangent’s “Ipanema” and “Ripple” patterns.  Both patterns are based on an undulating line that forms the backbone of the design.


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Tangent Ipanema Calacata


The undulating shapes in the Tangent “Ipanema” were inspired by ceramicist Eva Zeisel’s Belly Button room divider, and the famous beach side walkways in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (both shown below), where one finds plenty of curves of a different kind.  We combined mosaic and waterjet to achieve a textural contrast between the two design elements in the pattern.  This touch gives the pattern nice visual interest in even just one marble color, as pictured above.



The inspiration for “Ripple” came from the work of Bridget Riley, one of Great Britain’s best known artists. Riley’s distinctive and optically vibrant work from the 1960′s  actively engages the viewer’s sensations and perceptions.  Her painting “Arrest 1,” 1965,  (shown below) was specifically influential in our design and the visual illusions she creates on a flat plane is something we achieved in Tangent’s “Ripple.”




The image below shows how both the shapes of the  ”Ipanema” and “Ripple” patterns share the same undulating line, even though the end results of the design process look very different.


Ipanema sketch


We will explore more of the design process behind other Tangent patterns in the coming days, stay tuned!

To see all the mosaic patterns in the Tangent collection, click here.





Mosiac Monday…Eateries.



Introducing our new Tangent Collection

Tangent is defined as “a line that touches but does not intersect a curve.” It is a word that describes geometry, but also one used to describe heading off in serendipitous directions  as in “to go off on a tangent.” Both these definitions accurately describe our new collection of decorative stone mosaics, fittingly named “Tangent.”


Large image is Tangent Astral Nights Pattern, smaller images are other Tangent products and some of the inspiration behind them.


When we began the design process for this collection, we knew we wanted to create something contemporary that drew on classic modern and mid-century modern influences, but that would develop a original vocabulary that had not been realized in stone before.  We wanted to push the limits of stone cutting technology and combine water jet cut stone and mosaics in new and inventive ways.  We think we succeeded on all counts!

Tangent is a fresh take on decorative stone, a unique collection that speaks a new design dialect, one that talks about covering whole floors or walls in decorative patterns that are both a background and a focal point in a space. One in which abstract geometry merges with the unmatched beauty of natural stone, creating a richness that will beguile you anew, each time you see it.


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Close up of the Tangent Merge Pattern, showing the intricate cuts required incredibly precise cutting and fitting of small marble chips to create the seamless overall pattern

Precise and careful artistry is required to realize each of the designs in Tangent.  Most designs combine waterjet stone and mosaics, which require our craftspeople to carefully cut the stone chips to follow the edge of the precisely cut larger stone elements. This is exacting work that requires skill and dedication.  But, nothing less is acceptable  for a collection that is Walker Zanger’s new mosaic product flagship!

The Tangent collection includes 15 different patterns, initially launched in Calacata Marble with and Grey and black  Limestone accents.  In a continuing series of blog posts, we’ll show you some of the inspiration and design processes  behind these amazing patterns! We’ll start with  Honeycomb below.


Inspiration for Tangent “Honeycomb” Pattern



Clockwise From upper left: Designer David Hicks, Tangent Honeycomb Pattern in Calacata, David Hicks’s Iconic “nesting hexagon” wallpaper pattern.


Our new Tangent Honeycomb pattern (right) was inspired by David Hicks’  iconic nesting hexagons, which he created in the late 1960′s.  David Hicks was one of the giants of interior design in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s, when he created a unique design vocabulary that combined traditional elements with  bold colors and geometric all over patterns. Our Tangent Honeycomb pattern expresses the idea of concentric hexagons in solid stone shapes interspersed with hand cut mosaic chips.  The combination of  “solid” and “textured” surfaces gives the overall pattern an attractive dimensionality that is enhanced by the beautiful variation of the calacata marble.

You can view the entire Tangent collection at the Walker Zanger website here. Stay tuned for more “behind the scenes” looks at additional Tangent designs coming next week!


Mosiac Monday…The Women of Mad Men.



Guest Blog Post: Lofty Visions

Editors Note: We are excited to welcome Guest Blogger Corey S. Klassen, CKD, CBD who shares the design process behind a space he created to showcase American Standard’s DVX Collection; their new luxury fixture collection.

I want to take you on the journey to create a true coastal-inspired living environment: Lofty Visions for DXV by American Standard.

My vision for the space I wanted to create was a Vancouver Gastown loft with a hint of New York’s Chelsea area’s crispness. As I am keenly aware that the subconscious and physical environment influences much of my designs, I returned to my favorite spaces like Revolver or Old Faithful Shoppe, where there is a certain mix of wood, brick, old-world patterns, and a new design aesthetic of “perfectly imperfect” or the maker-culture. This, in turn, became the crux of my design inspiration.


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An initial rendering of the space.


As I started my quest, I found it was not easy to edit and curate my selections. But as I built the scheme it became clear to me that in order to select the material and finishes pallet and convey the design aesthetic for the space that I was going to need a lot of tile. Lots! In many shapes, scales, sizes, and even materials – and it was going to be everywhere. Before long I had decided, with clear certainty, that I wanted a mix of structural patterns (like wood and marble) in play with geometric patterns like circles, hexagons, squares, and the twist of a double-helix all set in a naturalistic and relaxing space.  I was on the hunt for the perfect set of materials to make the space sing with coastal-like forests that surround the West Coast.


Floor plan for the bathroom

Floor plan for the bathroom


Elevation for the bathroom

Elevation for the bathroom


It was the Anteak Tile  from Walker Zanger, that started it all and I was out of the gate running before I truly realized what I was creating. I played with scale, shape, and repetition and the penny-tile created a pattern play that I was searching for. Its warmth and depth were a perfect match for the cool crispness of the Soho Hexagon Mosaic and traditional 6th Avenue 3” x 6” in a half off-set pattern.


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Don’t be fooled by thinking it is a simple “subway” pattern, because it is not stacked, but rather, an equal offset of each capped by a perfect rail molding and base shoe to divide the room in half. That horizontal line is extremely relaxing to the eye and a design trick that is an oldie but a goodie.
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Finished space featuring Walker Zanger tile and fixtures from DXV by American Standard

Adding on the Nature Collection Grey Woodgrain tile on the floor added length to the room and it slopes right into the steam shower and linear drain without interruption. This is the perfect tile for this application and why not go vertical? I always find it interesting to use a floor tile on the wall because it maximizes the visual connection of the horizontal surfaces to the vertical surfaces and balances out the visual interest in all the other wall surfaces.
Walker Zanger’s Nature Grey Porcelain 8”x47”, Soho White Hexagon and 6th Avenue 3”x6” field in White Gloss.

Walker Zanger’s Nature Grey Porcelain 8”x47”, Soho White Hexagon and 6th Avenue 3”x6” field in White Gloss.

 The intensity and vigor of which I completed the tile pattern drawings proved to me that I had success on my hands. The bath became a space, or rather a play, on just the right amount of industrial with the right amount of chic.
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Walker Zanger Soho Hexagon with  6th Avenue Rail and 3″x6″ in White Gloss

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View of the finished space and inventive mix of textures

The perfect tile selections by Walker Zanger always make a bathroom!

You can see more of Corey’s work at his website Corey Klassen Interior Design.

All photo images and text are the property of Walker Zanger. Please do not use for commercial purposes without permission. You are welcome to repost. copyright 2014.

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