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Using Handmade Ceramic Tile with Field Tile

We see a "canvas" for Natalie Blake Studios tiles wherever a tiled surface, as in a kitchen, a bathroom, or a pool area, needs a pop of color or a handmade touch. Adding a mosaic tile mural to a tiled backsplash or wall is an artful way to get both the eye-catching appeal of  handmade ceramic tile art and the functionality of traditional tile. When using handmade ceramic tile with field tile, choose tiles and colors that complement each other yet are different enough to make a statement. Glossy, solid- colored field tiles spotlight the richly detailed and colorful forms of Natalie Blake Studios' mosaic tiles, which in turn become an elegant centerpiece of the room.

Nautilus Shower Mural, Handmade Ceramic Tile Art

Mosaic Tile as Shower Art Our handmade ceramic bath tiles are versatile and can be used in wet and outdoor environments, like showers and saunas, and are actually well suited for it (they’re ceramic tile, after all). This piece, Nautilus, is installed in a townhouse apartment bathroom in Washington, DC, where it adds depth and color to the clean, modern design of the bathroom. For showers, kitchens, and anywhere that splashes are likely, it is essential to properly seal and install the tiles to protect them from dirt and damage. Handmade Ceramic Tile in Kitchen Backsplashes Using our art tile as the highlight in a kitchen backsplash is one of our favorite ways to see our tiles installed.  In the installation below, the playful shapes and colors of the Flowerscape, set off by the surrounding smooth field tile, break up the white of the kitchen.

Flowerscape, Handmade Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Our square tiles can also be incorporated into a tiled kitchen backsplash. Large murals or shorter horizontal groups add a vibrant splash of color to fit almost any size wall space (and many are in stock and ready to buy).
Adavasi, Handmade Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Adavasi Backsplash, 24" x 24"

Tree Branch, Backsplash, Handmade Ceramic Tiles

Tree Branch, 12" x 60"

Handmade Tile in an Outdoor Landscape  Here's an example of handmade ceramic tile as decorative accents in a poolside, stone wall.  The colorful tiles break up the monotone color of the stone wall and play off the beautiful, blue pool.

Handmade Tiles, Outdoor Pool Tiles

The possibilities are limitless. For more ideas on using handmade ceramic tiles in the kitchen, bathroom and even outdoors, get inspired by Natalie Blake Studios on Pinterest and Houzz.  Keep an eye out for our new line of backsplash tiles, designed to fit as a mosaic or accent piece within a field tile backsplash (coming in the fall). Here's a sneak peek of our backsplash design tests:
Natalie Blake Studios Backsplash Tiles, coming soon

Design tests for new backsplash tiles

Shower backsplash installed

Here's a new piece  we made for a client in Washington, DC.  The piece is 36" w x 60" h and is grouted in place in her shower.  It is glazed in Robin's Egg, Jade and Honey.


Here's what the happy client had to say: "I can't thank you enough for your help in making my bathroom one-of-a-kind!"


handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic backsplash tiles by Natalie Blake

Shower tiles by Natalie Blake Studios

One of two new pieces to show off....


This is a shower backsplash, commissioned by a client in Washington DC. Stay tuned for an installation shot once it's been installed.  The piece is 36" w x 60" h.  It will be grouted in place.


handmade, sgraffito-carved, backsplash tile

Underwater, shower backsplash tile

Tiles for backsplashes

These tiles were commissioned for grouting into a mantel above a fireplace, but they would also work as a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. They are glazed in persimmon.

handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic backsplash tiles

handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic backsplash tiles

Shower installation

This is a shower installation done with unalun tile in smooth finishes. The jade, celedon and cream glazes were used here to create a lush environment connoting jungle and sea forms. The result is a verdant and soft environment suitable for a small space.

I created 4"x8" cream colored tiles for the side walls of the shower and bath wall. These are undulating tiles that I placed in a somewhat random pattern to interweave the concept of the bulging tile with the flat tile, so as to tie together the totally undulating back wall. They are woven in with handmade tiles from Trikeenan Tileworks in Keene, NH.  Fellow ceramic artists and now friends, Kristen and Chris, have been working in tile for years with a highly successful business. They now create tile for Whole Foods.

Click on the image to enlarge.

handmade, ceramic bathroom tiles

Shower installation

Bathroom Backsplash Ideas

Unalun tile is ideally suited for backsplash applications.

Form over function rules in the case of bathroom backsplashes. Consider that a bathroom backsplash is largely aesthetic and you'll see why picking beauty really matters.  Practically, a bathroom backsplash is used to protect vulnerable drywall from water splashes.  It is also useful in tying the countertop to the wall.  But once you've achieved these goals, anything goes!

There are endless possibilities of designs for your backsplash. Just contact the studio and speak to Natalie or Ellen.