Welcome to the Common Ground Art Tile website.
I take pride in my work and I hope it shows. Each piece is made in my Florida studio, the old fashioned way--individually, one at a time. Whether making tiles or hand-thrown sinks, the process always begins with my hands and a single ball of clay.
I make my tiles using a slab roller. A slab is rolled and various sized tiles are cut using templates as guides. After the tiles sit for a day, I smooth the top edges using my finger and water and the tiles are stacked two-high, face-to-face. Then they are dried slowly under plastic over the next 48 hours until they are leather hard. The plastic is removed and they are allowed to dry naturally on wire racks so they get even air circulation on both sides. Once completely dry, (bone dry), they are bisque fired to a temperature of around 1850˚ F.
I draw the designs in pencil on the bisque fired tiles, and the glazes are applied one at a time, by hand, to the decorated tiles. Each glaze is built up in layers to achieve the right color, but not so thick that it would run off the tile during the firing. The tiles are then loaded into the kiln and fired to a temperature of 2200˚ F. I may fire tiles up to 5 times to get the look I am after.
I am currently producing square tiles in the 1", 2", 3", 4", 6'', 8", and 12" sizes, and rectangles of various dimensions that compliment the square sizes. I will be introducing a line of other geometric shapes that go together with my glazes to make stunning tile installations as well. The tiles are made from a mid-fire stoneware that is completely vitrified, making them solid and strong, and is suitable for wet or outdoor locations. With little care they will last thousands of years.
The sinks are hand-thrown on a potter's wheel. I start with 20-25 lbs. of clay. Once the mass is centered on the wheel, I drop the hole in the center and pull up the walls of the sink to the desired shape. The sinks dry for a day and then the drain hole is cut to size, and shaped to accept the drain fitting. After another day of drying, they are flipped over and the bottom trimmed and shaped. Then they are allowed to dry naturally. Once bone-dry and bisque fired, the designs and glazes are applied by hand to the surface. They are then glaze fired, making a strong and durable sink that will last a lifetime.
This site was last updated 03/20/13
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