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Open Studio

Bert and May - Maker Mile

Bert and May
Profile

15-22 September 2018

Mon-Sun, 10am-6pm
67 Vyner St
London
E2 9DQ
Profile

Bert and May

With a commitment to raw materials, natural pigments and fine craftsmanship, Bert & May has become a name synonymous with a simple and elegant aesthetic.

The business began life in Spain as a reclaimed tile company founded by Lee Thornley, a former barrister who relocated there from London in 2004. The company has since evolved into a specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles, engineered wood, natural pigment paints and, most recently, furniture, fabric, bathroom fittings and kitchens.

On opening his award-winning hotel, Casa La Siesta, in Andalucia in Spain in 2008, Thornley found he had a talent for discovering beautiful old materials. The architectural salvage he had sourced for the hotel as he travelled around Spain, which included antique railings, doors, staircases, wood and reclaimed tiles, was soon much in demand from interior architects and designers.

A new project was born. And what started as an online venture selling reclamation developed further in 2010 when Thornley met Juan Menacho, the owner of an artisan family business making encaustic tiles by hand using traditional techniques. The pair believed the future lay in taking inspiration from the past and making their own designs, so the family factory was reopened and production began. Such is the ever-increasing demand, the workshop has since expanded to four machines and eight staff.

Rebranded and re-launched as Bert & May in 2013, the company has gone on to produce an extensive collection of distinctive graphic and geometric tiles, as well as engineered wood, made in Yorkshire. In September 2014, Bert & May opened its first London showroom and retail space in Vyner Street in Bethnal Green, where the full collection is available as well as a complete design service. In 2017, the Chelsea showroom was opened on Lots Road, catering to London’s interior design community.

Bert and May will be collaborating with Anthropologie this year, launching an exclusive new tile with the brand as part of an eight week pop-up at Anthropologie's Kings Road store.