Though only two shown are complete, today I finished five new sized and shaped tile forms: three are larger rectangles, and two are a new arched form. (They currently measure 11″h x 7 1/2″w x 2″d in this leatherhard stage, but have some shrinking to do.) I continue to be very excited about these wall/mantel pieces. They are one of the most enjoyable forms I make.
The tiles are more than just canvases for pattern. The forms themselves are intriguing to me; soft with edges, like a torte. I enjoy how they poof out from the wall, or belly out on a tabletop. I particularly like them in groupings. Most are made in a series intended to work together, though they rarely stay together. The ones I finished today are intended to alternate between the two shapes. The palette has already been determined (even before the surfaces were complete), so that all five will be a different color.
I treat the surfaces more like collage than clay decoration. Each one has four to five layers that overlap and intermingle, including content. Three of the new tiles have animals (rabbits and bunnies, chubby birds, and owls), and text (“THICKLY SETTLED”*, “SQUEEZE RIGHT”* and “CRYSTALLIZE”). There is really too much going on with these for one post, so I will have to discuss my interest in words and text, and animals in another at some point.
By the way, three of the rectangle tile forms on the Wall/Mantel Pieces page are available and in need of a loving home: (Untitled) (ivory), SHY/Owl (lime) and CAKE (frost). Clerestory on the New Work page is also available. Drop me an email if you have questions and would like to purchase one. The vault form, HEAVY-DUTY and small square tiles are currently on exhibition and for sale at the “Made In Clay” show at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC through 4/30.
*These amusing phrases are from street signs that seem to be particular to Massachusetts (or New England) where I have lived since 2001. When I first saw a sign reading, “THICKLY SETTLED”, I thought it meant something about the pavement. It refers to areas that are densely populated, so you need to watch your speed. “SQUEEZE RIGHT” (or left) means “merge”. (I’ve used them here in my work to signify other meanings, however.)
I lived in MA for a year – and always enjoyed driving through a “thickly settled” area!