Everywhere you go in Avalon you will see pretty tiles. Everywhere. I'm not kidding... On shop fronts,
On the footpath
Some are single tiles
Some are murals
Some are looking a little worse for wear
and some look brand new.
Catalina tile has a long history. Catalina Clay Products was founded in 1927 as a division of Santa Catalina Island Company by the William Wrigley Jr.
It was established to take advantage of the low cost of local clay and to help reduce the cost of construction on the island.
Originally they used local red clay from the Island to make all the tiles and pottery. But the clay wasn't that great, it crumbled easily so they started importing white clay from the mainland.
Catalina Clay Products made tiles, dinnerware and artware. The tiles were used for interiors and exteriors of buildings on Catalina.
In 1937 everything belonging to Catalina Clay was sold to Gladding McBean. Because the cost of importing the white to the island was so high Gladding McBean moved production to the mainland and eventually stopped production altogether in 1942.
Although rare, you can still find original Catalina Clay tiles and pottery. Pieces occasionally wash up on Pebbly Beach on Catalina Island.
The traditional Catalina colours are Toyon red, Descanso green, Mandarin yellow and a blue, but I forgot the fancy name for the blue.
I've spent hours exploring Avalon and have seen lots of different tiles. I want a tile mural in my house, when I grow up and have a place of my own again!