Sid Dickens

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are hand-crafted, collectible pieces of art. They provide a contemporary style of decorating—affordable, movable, desirable— with the timeless quality of enduring beauty.

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are Available for Purchase In-Store at BasketCases!

What is a Memory Block?

Handmade in Canada since 1995, Memory Blocks are the original collectible wall plaques. Interactive and timeless, the collection captures pieces of history as tangible, enchanting collectible art for modern life.

As art, they strike a perfect balance between intrigue and artistic appreciation. Our admirers recognize the many careful steps taken to bring a Memory Block from Sid’s early vision to its place on your wall. Carefully handcrafted from start to finish in our Vancouver studio, each Memory Block undergoes a unique process in the hands of numerous highly skilled and specialized artists.

We use traditional raw materials and a variety of artistic techniques. Our insistence of organic-based materials and our mandate to maintain a safe environment keeps our studio as a pleasant place to work and make art.

Many love Memory Blocks because the quality of each tile is unmatched. Every tile shows our pride of workmanship. We use only the highest grade material all of which are subjected to in-depth experimentation before final selection to ensure the optimum finished tile.

Perhaps a more apparent reason for Memory Blocks finding a place in so many lives is that, while uniquely individual, they allow us to share the stories that define us in a visual way. Their beauty aside, they enrich our lives by connecting us to each other, igniting our self-expression and bringing a connection to our memories to our living spaces.

The Creation Process

Memory Blocks are hand crafted plaster, 6" x 8" x 1 1/4", finished to a porcelain-like quality, cracked to create an aged look and feel.

They are produced by a group of 30 emerging artists in Sid’s studio space in Vancouver, Canada. Each Memory Block is made from hand-poured plaster. Each tile is hand-painted by our artists who also apply different finishes, including silver and gold leafing. Memory Blocks are then hand-stained to ensure the consistency of style through the different tiles.

We consider each Memory Block a piece of art. Each block passes through the hands of as many as five different artists who each add their unique skills to the creation process. While there are many copies on the market that have the look of being mass produced, Sid Dickens Memory Block tiles are made individually and each tile requires hours of work to create. Their style, the attached meaning and the creation process make each Memory Block an individual collectible treasure.

How to Display a Memory Block

Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are best displayed in wall-mounted groupings. The size of the groupings is unlimited. One prominent collector displays 80 Memory Blocks in the foyer of her home. You can also hang a single tile and build your collection according to your budget.

Unlike static works such as paintings, Sid Dickens Memory Blocks are interactive pieces of art. Memory Blocks can be grouped in an array of sizes, shapes and sequences or simply as a single table top piece. As your decorating needs, moods and collections change, Memory Blocks offer you the freedom to adapt your displays accordingly and personalize your walls.

How are Memory Blocks Installed?

No framing or installation costs are required. Only the simplest measurements are necessary. The back of each Memory Block has been finished with an aperture for hanging.

Please be advised that Sid Dickens Memory Blocks, like any fine art, are best displayed in a climate controlled environment. Please ensure that your blocks are placed away from direct sunlight as exposure to either direct sunlight or moisture can cause the blocks to fade and/or discolour.

About the Artist: Sid Dickens

"People like to feel they are an integral part of the story of humanity, and my tiles have the weight and feel of another era, a time when things were more permanent and long-lasting. I think it’s this aspect of the tiles that make people want to reach out. In essence, they want to touch history."
Sidney Michael Dickens

Sidney Michael Dickens was born in 1963 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. In 1983, he was accepted to the prestigious Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver. The following year he established his first studio, and began to develop the process and practices which have evolved into his various lines of fine art, interior decor and designs.

In 1987, after an inspirational trip to Europe which Dickens regards as pivotal to his artistic development, he moved to a remote waterfront studio in the Queen Charlotte Islands. The elemental beauty of this secluded and mythic wilderness expanded Dickens’ vision. Here, he began to experiment with unusual materials: whale bones, leaves, metal and wire. At this time, he also developed a jewellery collection which was featured in several fashion shows in Vancouver.

Continuing to expand his creative repertoire, Dickens headed to the Institute De Allende in San Miguel, Mexico to study bronze casting for two years. Returning to Vancouver in 1991, Dickens established a new studio in its Gastown district. There he finally discovered his perfect medium - plaster. Immediately, he created what would be the first prototypes in a series of decorative tiles. “Originally, I created large panels with many elements. The smaller tile format allows me to take my fine art and break it apart, focusing on one or two ideas. People can take the elements they like and mix and match tiles on their walls to create their own personal style,” says Dickens.

Describing himself as extremely motivated, Dickens’ studio has grown from a “one man show” to a company which employs a full time staff of artisans. Today, with a strong team behind him, Sid is experimenting with new media, licensing his designs world-wide, and transforming small chunks of history into contemporary art. He continues to take inspiration from his travels and carries out research around the world.