Love/Leather, The Milkman & Concrete
Gardena, CA—Adversity is said to be the mother of invention, the fire that transforms music, art & food. Arto Alajian, a designer born in Cairo, the son of Krikor, an Armenian refugee, began designing & literally cutting tanned leather from Milan. When revolution came to Egypt, he fled to Beirut where he worked for British Airways. When turmoil began there, he set his eyes on North America, landing in New York, Houston, British Columbia, and finally settling down in Venice, California. We are getting closer to tile, hold on.
In Los Angeles, Arto attended school for aviation mechanics, worked for the Adamson Family (of the famed Malibu home) at their Adohr Farms Dairy delivering milk. While starting his new life, he met Irene Berchtenbreiter, a ceramicist that was exhibiting with Peter Volkus & Paul Soldner. Irene made beautiful hand painted ceramic wall murals that were both one-dimensional and three-dimensional. Love & Art connected here as Arto studied to be a ceramicist and developed a thin wall tile that was extruded and unglazed to frame the murals. In 1966, Arto left the dairy and school and founded & produced ARTO BRICK VENEER.
Flash forward to the oil embargo in the early 1970’s; Arto is pushed from ceramic to concrete due to high energy costs. Producing first wall cladding and then floor tile made of concrete. The mother of invention brought to the market high value low cost hand made tile (produced since 1966) in Southern California employing 51 team members at two factories.
Wait For it….
ARTO Brick and Ca Pavers have been designing and manufacturing rustic elegance since 1966. ARTO creates concrete products for walls, floors and hardscapes, and can be used for interior or exterior applications.