Using fish scale tile in a design plan brings an organic presence and natural resonance into any space. Firstly, a little science to support the organic aspect. The Australian Museum informs us that there are four basic scale shapes.
-1 Placoid (sharks and rays)
-2 Cosmoid (lungfishes and some fossil fishes)
-3 Ganoid (bichirs , Bowfin, paddlefishes, gars, sturgeons)
-4 Cycloid / Ctenoid (most bony fishes)
Additionally, certain species, such as a flounder, can have one type of scale on one side of its body and another type opposite.
Moving past the science, there are considerable design legs driving the use of this shape in 2017. No one seems to be doing this better than Mercury Mosaics in Minneapolis, MN. Mercury is led by Mercedes Austin in her role as “mover and shaker” among the “tile elves” plying their trade in the land of lakes. Since a picture is worth a thousand words please take a look at the impressive work of these elves at the top of the post and immediately above and below.
To a degree, the process that Mercury employs harkens back to a more fundamental approach to the creation of ceramic tile as an artistic medium and not simply a production process.Their website describes this when they say, “We create each tile by hand from start to finish, beginning with a box of solid clay cut down to your specific tile and mosaic shapes.” The ability of ceramic tile to facilitate this elemental, organic shape is one of the strong suits of the medium.
Many thanks to Mercury Mosaics, Mercedes Austin and of course the “tile elves”. Thanks for reading!