Architecture and Ceramics
My not-very-secret project is to make tiles for my newly fitted kitchen. I thought I would show some of my tiles here without showing the finished project, as it’s not actually finished yet!
In my working life, it’s most efficient to take a linear approach to the work of designing buildings. Everything has to get pushed forwards ‘as one’, with all parts working together logically and with a rigour and rationality.
In my personal ceramic projects I like to play around a bit more, and free my mind up to explore techniques and outcomes that might happen during experimentation. It takes longer to get things done, and if I had ‘a client’ I imagine they wouldn’t be thrilled to see me ‘at work’ faffing with one thing for a while, turning my attention to something else, forgetting everything around me while reading a book for a bit, and chatting away if there’s someone else in the studio. But I am my own client, and I don’t care!
I love Half Square Triangles, they’re so fun to play around with and make so many different patterns. My brain likes to have a lot of constraints to work with, and a small area in which to play around, or else I find myself overwhelmed with choice. This sort of task is just perfect for a quiet evening meditating on shape and colour.
I made the same number of black tiles and coloured tiles, so one half of the square is always black and the pattern stands out.
I’ve decided on a chevron pattern. Partly because in the future I may want to extend the tiles up the wall, and it’s easy to do that with a pattern like this. Partly because there’s a hidden S shape for my name, and partly because I’ve always wanted a Twin Peaks themed flat, and this pattern is like the Red Room floor
Alison had hung onto these lustre and matt black tiles by Margery Clinton, which were left over from a mural of Jonah and the Whale. She kindly donated them to my kitchen 😀 They’ll look amazing behind the hob. They’re bigger than my tiles, but that will still look great in the chevron pattern.
The non-linear nature of this project extends to the installation. Half the tiles are now up on the kitchen wall waiting to be grouted, the rest are… still in production! Plus, I made a square Chris & Sarah tile to go behind the kettle, which is the most used appliance in the kitchen 😀
It’s a great opportunity to use up those tiny test glazes that are cluttering up my shelves in the studio
The black tiles in their raw clay form. Some of the black tiles are white stoneware with a black matt or shiny glaze over, and some – like these – are a smooth black clay with clear glaze over. The black clay is sooo beautiful to work with, it’s a deep purply colour like chocolate butter icing, but gets EVERYWHERE so needs about an hour of clean up time after working with it.
These tiles have been stamped with a bisqued clay stamp I made. Stamps a really fun way to quickly make an all over pattern, and you can get lots of different looks with one stamp, I love playing with them.