HAND PRESSED, HAND PAINTED
Hand-pressed art tiles are expensive because of the labor needed to make them. As Elizabeth perfects new designs for decos (decorative tiles with relief), she sculpts an original, which is then used to create a plaster mold. Tiles are made by pressing clay into the mold.
After the tiles are pressed, Gary says, stray bits of unwanted material are cleaned up, and the tiles are fired in a bisque kiln. Once they’re cool, Elizabeth and Gary apply their own proprietary glazes by hand. Then the tiles are fired again.
“Some are over-glazed,” says Elizabeth, “and some are hand-painted with different colors.”
Gary explains: “A lot of people would just spray their glazes, but we find we get better control with brush-applied glazes.” He says that handcoloring the tiles is “really fun.”
“And magical,” adds Elizabeth. “No matter how much you think you’re in charge, the kiln gods make magic you didn’t anticipate.”
ABOVE: Three decorative tiles inspired by nature and historical designs: ‘ Dogwood’ in Alchemy, ‘ Tree of Life’ in Antique Gold, and ‘ Lotus Cameo’ in Black Forest.