Hand and Heart at Motawi Tileworks

John Ruskin, the grand Victorian voice of the Arts and Crafts movement, wrote that “all art worthy of the name is the energy—neither of the human body alone, nor of the human soul alone, but of both united…the action of the hand is at its finest when that of the heart is at its fullest.” Admittedly, the always elegant words of Ruskin sometimes seem lacking real-life applications, but Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA offers a fine example of what such a synergy between art and heart might look like. Founded at the cusp of the 21st century, the tilework presents a synthesis of efficiency, technology, and craftsmanship, and its success triumphantly shows that the lofty ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement can be translated seamlessly into the contemporary world.