Monday, May 18, 2009

In the studio, tiles again

This is for a kitchen for a local family who are remodeling their house. As landscape architects they had specific ideas about what they wanted in the backsplash. Because they have a good visual vocabulary and are familiar with my work, I'm pretty confident that they will be happy with this.
*you may need to click on the photos to see them better...
The first thing I do is sketch the design with pencil.
*Actually, first I layout all the lines where tiles will have to be cut during installation so that I don't put any important design elements there.
I gather lots and lots of pictures when I need to draw specific plants. In this case, it is supposed to look like a woodland forest floor and include Trilliums, various ferns, and a few other plants beloved by the owners.
Then, I slip-trail the design, roughly following the basic outline. I go back afterward and add bits and pieces to balance out the density of the elements.
These go on adjoining walls (backsplash) in the same kitchen.
The final step is to fill in with a wash to shade in certain elements (cobalt blue).

I can never bring myself to draw a full scale cartoon to work from. So much of the character of what I do depends on spontaneity, so I really prefer to ad lib when I draw a mural. Having the whole thing premeditated, so to speak, kind of kills it for me. I do spend tons and tons of time thinking about it in advance though. And I spend a lot of time researching too. This process works best when the client is willing to trust me, but I don't like blind faith...I really need them to understand the look and feel of my work first.

That's it. Later in the week, Mr. Cranky will spray them with a clear glaze, I'll load them into the kiln and fire them. After a day of cooling in the kiln (no peeking), I can unload pack and get them delivered.


  1. Wow. They're going to be marvelous!

  2. They are so beautiful! I can't wait to see them in our kitchen.


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