Episode 1 — Beginning

Welcome to Japan.
Episode 1 introduces the series and sets the scene, introducing the Artedomus team and exploring their love of Japan and motivation for filming the most recent visit.


The tradition of ceramics in Japan is steeped in history. It is a tradition whose significance is a reflection of Japanese culture, and one that is driven by passion.

For Artedomus, filming the Expert Series was an opportunity to share the stories, places, and history that the team experience and discover in greater depth each time they visit Japan. “At Artedomus, we love to tell stories and one of the best stories that we have is the story of INAX and the story of Japanese ceramics,” says Phil Brenton, managing director of Artedomus.

Travelling to Japan gives Artedomus the chance to visit the ceramic factories in person, meet with the suppliers, and select new products to bring to Australia. “It never ceases to amaze me I’ve been here a number of times, and every time I come back, I see something else that simply blows my mind,” says William Pearse, Artedomus Melbourne sales manager.

Regularly visiting Japan is also a means of experiencing the way in which ceramic tiles have been used in Japanese architecture and design, both historically and in the present day. In doing so, the team has gained a unique appreciation and understanding of how integral the context of Japanese history and culture is to the tiles that are produced.

“You walk down a street of Tokyo and you can see such contrast,” says Matthew Croll, Artedomus Sydney sales manager. “You go to different parts of Japan, rural areas of Japan where some of the factories are that we go to, the people are very humble, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s something I think that we lose in Australia; in a way we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and own little world.”

Yassaman Bahar, senior sales at Artedomus Melbourne, says, “I feel like everything is a little bit more focused on the ceremony [in Japan]. The way you eat, the way you greet people. And it’s interesting the different building materials that they use and where they use them and why they use them, and the importance of how it’s made and how that affects them culturally.”

In this way, Artedomus’ connection to the tradition of ceramics production in Japan is grounded in an appreciation for the fact that the tiles are far more than just the sum of their parts. It goes toward expressing why some materials have an intangible but genuinely powerful presence when used in architecture and design. As Matthew Croll expresses, “You see a tile [and] you look at it in a way that perhaps is very two dimensional. But to see this ancient art, the people watching [the Expert Series] will hopefully get an appreciation of the materials, the places, and the people that make these tiles.”

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Episode 1 — Beginning

Welcome to Japan.
Episode 1 introduces the series and sets the scene, introducing the Artedomus team and exploring their love of Japan and motivation for filming the most recent visit.

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Episode 2 — History

The Rich History of Mosaics in Japan.
Episode 2 delves into the Japanese tradition of ceramics, which is one of the oldest in the world. This long tradition is reflected in the architecture and design throughout Japan, and the way in which it has evolved over the centuries.

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Episode 3 — Symbolism

The Use and Symbolism of Tiles in Japan Today.
In Japan, not only do tiles have applications far beyond those that familiar in Western architecture and design, but the products themselves expand the definition of a tile.

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Episode 4 — Process

The Manufacturing Process & Engineering Elements.
The process by which natural clay is transformed into a beautiful and durable tile is the result of a manufacturing process that has its roots in centuries-old techniques. In a testament to the value of these traditional manufacturing methods, many factories in Japan today continue to use technologies and equipment that are very old.

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Episode 5 — Beauty

The Natural Beauty of Japanese Tiles.
In Episode 5 explores the influence of ‘wabi-sabi’, the Japanese principle of beauty in imperfection, and how this is seen in INAX ceramics. The subtle variation and layers of texture and colour that characterise these ceramics are intrinsic to the design and manufacturing processes, many of which are specific to individual family-owned ceramics factories.

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Episode 6 — Customisation

The Customisation of Tiles.
Episode 6 delves into how the close relationship with the INAX factories enables Artedomus to give Australian architects and designers unparalleled access to custom ceramics, and how the development of custom tiles has, in turn, informed the development of new ranges.

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Episode 7 — Connection

Artedomus’ Connection to the INAX Factories.
Key to the successful relationship between Artedomus and INAX is the connection to the individual factories themselves. With many factories being family-owned operations that work with INAX as their global distributor, visiting the factories has led to the cultivation of warm and productive relationships.

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Episode 8 — Ending

Journey’s End.
Coming to the end of a week-long visit to the Japan exploring the factories, traditions and uses of tiles in Japanese architecture and design, the Artedomus team is invigorated and excited to bring what they’ve seen and discovered back home to Australia.