Crafted by clé, inspired by our home

by clé tile | published: Apr 11, 2024


clé guild, new california

the clé guild is our contribution to the library of prima materia: a glazed thin brick that can hold its own in any space, all because of the integrity of its materials and the expertise and mastery of our guild artisans. In anticipation of welcoming more collections from the Guild, we're taking a deep dive into one of the first collections, inspired by our home state.

Welcome to New California

clé guild New California collection was inspired by the landscapes of the Northern California coast. Cool greys, warm earth and variegated greens echo the natural landscape of California’s beaches, headlands and woods. Named for the native flora that inhabit the wild coastal landscape, this line of tile symbolizes the beauty and quiet, earthy elegance of California.

Equally at home in traditional and modern settings, clé Guild New California echoes the artistry and aesthetic of California’s influential mid-century craft movement — trend-transcending and truly timeless.


clé guild, new california

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clé guild, new california

A Sense of Place

As with Fundamentals, the clay used in New California is drawn from a single source and minimally processed. When fired, the unrefined minerals interact, giving every tile a truly unique expression of the earth from which it is made. The glazes are formulated of natural stone powders and oxides, which, in concert with the clay, create a range of textural and chromatic expressions when fired in our state-of-the-art Blaauw kiln.

In the kiln’s intense heat, the mineral elements become much more active. Rather than just “melting,” the heat sparks all kinds of beautiful re-combinations of the elements our ceramicist Eric VanderMolen calls “a multi-faceted dance of atoms.”


Yarrow and salvia, design / photo: bludot

Controlled Chaos

The result is tile with subtle shifts of shading, divots and speckles caused by mineral deposits, and a host of other perfect imperfections that make each piece unique. “What we want is both consistent and variable,” VanderMolen says. “It’s a balancing act… allow materials to have some wiggle room so we don’t have something too locked in, too sterile, too uniform. But still keep it in sync.”

That deftly controlled variability, that expression not only of place but of the artisan’s hand, gives clé Guild New California extraordinary character that enriches every space it occupies. As with any handmade or natural tile, the type and level of variation differs from batch to batch, so we advise you to sample New California to get a sense of the variability and, when you’ve decided on a surface have your qualified installer open all the boxes at once and blend, blend, blend!


design: cathie hong interiors / photo: margaret austin

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clé guild, new california: mallow


like the dappled warm grey foliage of this california native shrub, mallow is a varied grey gloss brick tile. naturally occurring minerals in this rugged clay give mallow a lightly speckled character under its bright glazed surface.


design: marie flanigan interiors / photo: julie soefer

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clé guild, new california: dogwood


dogwood echoes the bright white blossoms of this delicate california native tree. like the crisp, foggy early spring in which it blooms, dogwood is a bright, cool alternative to classic white tile.


design: cathie hong interiors / photo: margaret austin


clé guild, new california: willow


the velvet softness of willow is reminiscent of the familiar tree buds that beckon springtime. a soft satin-matte surface and silvery blue-grey speckled pigment characterize this glazed brick tile.


design : jenni kayne / photo: amanda & scott sanford

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clé guild, new california: yarrow


warm matte off-white and dappled iron spotting are the hallmarks of yarrow. much like the quiet wildflower of california meadows for which it is named, this glazed brick tile possesses a soft elegance.

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design: sarah solis / photo: magdalena wosinska


clé guild, new california: fennel


fennel is a favorite of chefs, foragers, wild birds, swallowtail butterflies and now, designers. fennel glazed brick is a stylish update on the classic matte glazes of california’s artisan clay tradition. soft, speckled baked-earth with cream tones echo the familiar dried seed heads of this quintessentially delicious plant.

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design: jamie haller / photo: jenna peffley


clé guild, new california: manzanita


the dark warmth and burnished glow of manzanita bark is reflected in this new california glazed brick tile. softly variegated rusts, browns and blacks give manzanita a quietly strong, dark elegance beneath a satin lustrous surface.


california coastal inspirations

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clé guild, new california: cardoon


the dark warmth and burnished glow of manzanita bark is reflected in this new california glazed brick tile. softly variegated rusts, browns and blacks give manzanita a quietly strong, dark elegance beneath a satin lustrous surface.


design: danielle sommers, urth studios / photo: kelsey schmidt

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clé guild, new california: salvia


the sagebrush green of salvia is as charismatic and diverse as the plants for which it is named. toasty, grey-green hues and light spotting meld with surfaces ranging from satin to slightly glossy, giving salvia a captivating softness and varied richness.

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design: marie flanigan interiors / photo: julie soefer


clé guild, new california: bracken


the deep, dark green of bracken echoes the shadowy groves of ferns and mosses in california’s ancient forests. surfaces ranging from satin matte to slightly glossy give bracken a wonderful depth and subtle variety, offering a range of expression within and between the tiles.

color studies + tile

Color studies are crucial for interiors where lighting can change throughout the day. materials, texture, and finish can all play a part in how a color “reads” in a room. tile is especially complicated for this very reason. variegation and variation can soften the intensity of a color — but also magnify the differences between adjacent colors.

but fear not, we’ve got you covered! we believe that redesigning your space shouldn’t be arduous. successful color pairings shouldn’t feel like a code to be deciphered, but an opportunity to tap into emotions and tell your story. you can’t do this by following trends. instead you need to find the story that you want to tell.

good to know

usage: the fundamentals collection can be used for interior floor, interior wall, exterior wall, shower floor, shower wall, steam shower, residential low traffic, backsplash, kitchen, fireplace surround, pool and fountain waterline (non-freeze thaw locations only).

size & price: each tile is ½” x 8” x ½”. we require a minimum two-box order (88 pieces) at $131.12 per box ($262.24 total). industry standard suggests ordering at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs.

grout size: we recommend a 3/8” grout joint for the fundamentals collection, which allows for 6.54 tiles per square foot. as always, we urge installers to only use mapei ultracolor plus fa grout to reduce the risk of grout haze and staining.

additional information is available on each product page.

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