All designs shown are flexible in dimensions, colors, tile bodies, etc. All tiles are made to order after consultation.
My initial designs were confined to the conventional creation of images applied to individual tiles. Still working under the inspiration of the Aesthetic Movement, I developed a design featuring an overall field of netting that could be divided by bamboo frames. Within these framed areas, great numbers of variations were possible, including varying infills, and the option of hand applied colors. However, I sensed a frustration with the appearance of this conventional arrangement of decorated individual tiles.
AESTHETIC NET series
As a practicing architect, I observed that, despite the plethoric offerings of ceramic tiles, there existed a void between the commercially produced and the artisanal that was not necessarily a function of the price, but rather the level of thoughtfulness related to the designs themselves. Even "high end" products relied too heavily upon past concepts rather than examining afresh the roles of image, pattern making, and material constraints in the development of designs. It occurred to me that, as a native of East Liverpool, Ohio, a center for the ceramics industry, it would be possible for me to design and create tiles that would aspire to higher design standards yet still be an economical choice.
I began by creating designs influenced by my love of the tiles of the Aesthetic Movement of the 1880's. Never copying original designs, I, nevertheless, analyzed them, and other antique tiles, for techniques and stylistic traits. However, I soon felt a sense of constraint by the realization that the overall image of an installation would always be of a fragmented field of small repetative units.
Rather than handpainting yet another flower, figure, or Delft windmill on a single small tile with fanciful corner patterns, (lovely as these may be) I believed that I should consider those areas displaying the image as units composed of smaller units. These would not be murals that ignored completely the scale of the grid to which they are applied, nor would they be the repetative fields of small elements produced by traditional designs.
Thus, I approached this challenge as if to design ceramic wallpaper that still respects the smaller units' requirements of matching.
Antique British Aesthetic Movement tile circa 1885
This desire to transcend the "grid" led me to experiment with designs that utilised two tiles that match the other on all four sides. I found this mode to be both challenging and liberating at the same time. Obviously, the immediate challenge was to manage the creation of a repeating image that was composed by the subordinate repetitions of the alternating tiles. However, I discovered that the forced constraints of multiple matches, in turn, freed me from the limitations of the confines of the individual unit.
The AESTHETIC NET field tiles and border and corner border tiles. (The yellow shadow is the decal film which burns away during firing.) These can be produced in multiple scales and choice of colors. The infill designs possible are limitless.
Aesthetic Net variations of infill and decorated tiles. These appear to their best advantage when fired upon handmade blanks with a crackle glaze such as these examples.
TREE OF LIFE: my first design of the two tile alternating match series.
The original pen and ink drawings of the two tile alternating match "TREE OF LIFE" design.
Actual tiles shown in sepia on an ivory background.
Working cartoon of copies of original pen and ink drawings.
This pattern was the first of a series that utilises the alternating two tile match to form the image. Both the A tile and the B tile match on all four sides. Experimenting with different ceramic bodies led me to these handmade ivory bodied ones with a lightly tinted crackle glaze. These could be further enhanced by light color tinting by hand painting.