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I have long been inspired by the tiles of the late 19th Century that were influenced by the Aesthetic Movement.  While never simply copying designs, I have attempted to render ideas and motifs in manners that would complement antique tiles, or  provide qualitative substitutes.  Custom designs for specific applications are always of interest.  
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     "While still creating individual tiles, I now prefer to approach my designs as exercises  in overall pattern-making utilizing subunits yet being unconstrained by those individual units'  physical dimensions.  At the same time, I respect each unit's contribution to the whole and do not merely apply the image arbitrarily to the field of tiles.  As an example, the "Rococo Chinoiserie" pattern shown below is based upon two 8" by 8" tiles, each matching the other on all four sides, allowing the image to expand to any dimension.  With the addition of the matching top and bottom 2" by 8" bordering elements, additional flexibility is added to the vertical dimension.

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                                     TILE DESIGN

              "Rococo Chinoiserie" a two tile alternating match scheme 

Inspired by the delicate engravings of Pillement, I created this tile as a  substitute for painted papers in areas such as tub surrounds that would be impractical for their installation.  Companion top and bottom border tiles allow a great deal of dimensional  flexibility in installation. 

 TILE A: shown is an actual 8" by 8" Seneca  quarry paver with design fired in a dark blue. 

with matching top and bottom bordering tiles

As demonstrated, the overall effect is more related to fabric repetitions than the grid-like patterns of individually decorated  tiles.  I conceived these as a decorative alternative for those splash prone places such as backsplash and bath areas where  papers or fabrics are impractical.  

TILE B: original ink drawing
"TREE OF LIFE" 12 tile panel
_TREE OF LIFE_ panel_Upper 6 of the 12 t
JUST FIRED TILE (detail)_One of a set of
In addition to the designs executed in decals, I have explored the possibilities of adding colors by the use of china pigments which are second fired to become permanent. Lead free paints are available for the decoration of tablewares and other such items.  

                               "ASH WEDNESDAY SERIES"   

            Related designs for collages, tiles and various items.   

ASH WEDNESDAY SERIES #4_Inspired by a ma

While walking on Magazine Street in New Orleans on the day after Mardi Gras, I observed an early flowering magnolia tree festooned with the everpresent strings of beads.  Inspired by this sight, I began generating  drawings which form the basis for the creation of collages, ceramic tiles, and various other products.  Combining these works with other New Orleans related details,  this series evokes the unique spirit of the Crescent City.  

Preliminary layout of one of the _ASH WE
_ASH WEDNESDAY I_ _Limited edition colla
_ASH WEDNESDAY_ tile design_The design i
Seneca 12" by 12" (nominal) quarry paver tile chosen for its glaze and its suitability to outdoor installation in a freeze/thaw cycle.
Conceptual sketches, yet drawn to scale, and always considering the dimensional constraints of scanning and printing. Note the ribbons and bows. 
An early full scale mock-up used photocopies glued to poster boards. The metal ruler is a 48" one.  Note the side coral columns merely repeated a vertical match and were topped by a finial.  These bore an unsatisfying, nebulous relationship to the center arrangement.  Also note the bows which were eliminated.  

 The bows were a carryover from the original Louis XVI-inspired scheme of having the frames suspended from ribbons. When the ribbons evolved into chains, these were eliminated. The chains far better evoke the maritime symbolism of ships' anchors and pirates' chests full of gold and silver links- thus the rationale for decorative medallions replacing the bows. 

Intermediate studies of the coral frames were printed at full scale and manipulated on the poster boards for finalization decisions.  
The actual silkscreened decal sheet layout demonstrates the breaking apart of the cartouche  image into 2 printable sections 
1/4 scale drawing of panel showing actual size of the tiles and grout lines. Photo copies of the major elements were reduced and glued to layout to allow meaningful approximation of appearance.  (Not all  of the elements were placed on this drawing,) Note the additions of the ogee framing and pencil moldings and the refinement of the side coral columns. 
For another example of a design's dimensional consideration, one full scale repetition of the coral column's total height needed to be 12" (the nominal size of the tiles dictated this dimension) The maximum image size to be scanned can only be 8 1/2" by 11" and the composition sheet for the decals is 10" by 16".  Thus, the "match' line shown is at 4" of the total 12"  Although the final design arranges these  side columns in a different manner than first proposed, those initial dimensional constraints can be observed on the first sheet of decals.
The design decals were able to be limited to 3 silk screened pages in limited runs of 10, 12, and 18.    I also wish to stress that these are NOT digitally printed but rather silk screened using ceramic "inks" which are more akin to a ground glaze in suspension.  During firing, these will vitrify and become one with the tile's glaze, making an impervious surface that can not scratch nor fade.
Page #1                                            Page #2                                     Page #3
The 8" by 8" Seneca Tile sample that was used to choose glaze color was used to test fire the Rococo Chinoiserie Tile "A".  Vignettes from these tiles were to be used as the inserted images framed by the cartouches.  
Working Cartoon:  1/4 scale drawing of final layout used to determine allowances for dimensional variations of the handmade tiles and the grout lines.   This also will serve as the key for the installer as each tile is numbered and oriented for final placement.  

Decorating the Tiles

After picking up the tiles at the Attica, Ohio factory of SENECA TILES, I applied the decals and allowed ample time for them to air dry. They then are ready for the decorative second firing at 1400 degrees F.  Again, one tile was used for test firing.  Note the companion molded tiles that will finish the edges and provide surface interest.  
Ogee edge molded tiles and "pencil" molded tiles to frame center elements. 
Center element tile 
Tiles installed, awaiting grout 
INSTALLATION DAY !! _Today marked the se
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