One day I happened to be in a tile shop and noticed some designs that were particularly impressive. I was curious about the process of how ceramic tiles were made, so I began studying and experimenting with different clay bodies and glazes. I discovered that the process of taking raw material from the earth and using my hands to turn it into something functional and beautiful is very rewarding. It wasn't long before I decided to leave the accounting profession and start a tile business.
I was strongly influenced by the arts and crafts movement and the art nouveau styles. The arts and crafts movement emphasized the intrinsic value of handmade goods, both in artistic and human terms, in reaction to the consequences of the industrial age. The warmth, beauty, and natural variation of handmade tiles is what makes them more appealing than those that are mass-produced.
We make our tiles with the traditional method of tile production that was used for centuries before mass-production techniques were introduced. After the original design is carved, a plaster mold of the design is made. Each tile is then pressed into the mold and takes several days to slowly dry before being fired in a kiln for the first time. Most mass-produced tiles are quickly fired in about 1 hour. However, we use two separate and lengthy kiln firings instead which are necessary to create very unique and interesting glaze surfaces, The first firing, called the bisque firing, is used to harden the clay and make it ready to accept glaze. After the first firing, the glaze is applied by hand and then fired a second time to over 2150 degrees. This results in very durable and interesting glaze surfaces. Each glaze firing takes about two days to complete. The long and slow glaze firing is necessary to give the components of each glaze plenty of time to melt, flow, and interact with each other which results in very beautiful glaze surfaces. These subtle variations in glaze color give them their unique character and beauty.
Please feel free to contact us at 417-583-2456 with any questions you might have.