Malibu Ceramic Works
Topanga, California

Bob Harris, a successful sound technician in the movie industry, purchased a collection of Malibu Potteries tiles in 1979 before much, if anything, was known about what today is considered to be one of the most important tile companies in California's history. Intrigued by his collection and spurred on by an exhibition of Malibu tile at the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1980, Harris teamed up with ceramist Jim Sullivan to reproduce the now famous tiles that were produced on the beach in Malibu from 1926 to 1932.

The new company was named Malibu Ceramic Works, founded in response to a growing demand for ceramic tiles with designs and colors that reflected the vitality and brilliance of the 1920s and 1930s when the Malibu Potteries and other tile manufacturers flourished in Southern California.

Rather than the company attempting to reproduce these famous tiles exactly, the goal at Malibu Ceramics was to provide architects, designers and their clients with a striking alternative to what was then offered in tile showrooms, tiles that reflected the ceramic traditions of California and provided the finest craftsmanship available at that time.

Over the years the company has specialized in custom work in addition to offering many of the historic Malibu patterns and designs as well as standard field tiles and trim shapes. What differentiates Malibu Ceramic Works from others is that it was the first in the modern era to reproduce Malibu tiles; and importantly, the company has served as a training ground for many ceramic artists who are making these tiles today.

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