Abstract tile design

handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic wall tiles

This piece was commissioned by an interior designer for a client who wanted a piece for over her baby grand piano. . The client really liked the large mural Natalie created for an auto lobby at the 1706 Rittenhouse Square condominiums in Philadelphia, PA, but wanted only a few of those tiles. She chose these three and we glazed them in our Robin’s Egg glaze to complement the colors in the room.

Couple Loves Their New Ceramic Tile Wall Mural

handmade, sgraffito-carved, ceramic wall tile mural

Tree of Life, 24″ x 36″, blue glaze, residential installation A New Hampshire couple commissioned this tile piece from Natalie at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair. They liked the tree of life motif that they saw at the fair but needed a smaller piece for their space. Here is a picture of the installed piece. According to the homeowner, “Photos do not do it justice… just beautiful!” You can see more of our Tree of Life design under our “Tile Catalogue”–click here.

Commission in process..

sketch for natalie blake tile mural

This winter a homeowner contacted Natalie  and commissioned a tile mural for her new home. The homeowner requested a piece that would include rolling hills, and a mountain with a swirling current river with a full moon. She wanted the light to sparkle on the water and suggested that a bat would be in the piece, as well as bamboo on the river bank.  With that direction Natalie went to work sketching.  Here is Natalie’s first sketch: The client loved the sketch and asked Natalie what colors she was thinking of.  By then Natalie had put her thoughts down on clay and had carved the piece. She used Photoshop to overlay her color ideas onto the piece.  Photoshop is a useful tool in our design process. It allows clients to get an idea of where the glazes will go on the piece. However Photoshop does not always give an accurate representation of our glaze colors. We sent the client color chips to show her the actual colors. Natalie suggested jade, honey and cashew as colors. Here is the Photoshopped image of the piece: Unfortunately, a few of the tiles cracked in the firing process but in remaking the piece, Natalie… Read More »

Live Oak Piece for Collector

handmade ceramic wall art tile

This piece, Live Oak, was recently commissioned by a collector of Natalie’s work.  The collector and his wife saw our original Live Oak piece but needed to have it scaled down to fit his wall.  Here’s the result.

Working on new piece

This is a closeup of tiles that are part of a larger piece (below).  The piece will hang in a stairwell and will be glazed in persimmon. The bottom photo shows the stairwell where the piece will hang. Note that the tile design is meant to complement the hand-made railing, by Kevin Rodrigue/Rodrigue Studios, Spotsylvania, VA    

Residential Installation, Daphne, Alabama

These tiles were purchased by a couple building a home in Daphne, Alabama. They purchased the tiles from Natalie at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, New York City, two years ago. Here’s what the homeowner had to say “We bought the tiles not knowing how much space we had to fill but just knew it would engage the eye and compliment the overall themes we we had in mind (nature and the sea).  We went for a more random display than the rectangular layout we originally envisioned.”

Tree of Life Mural Commissioned by Homeowner

Homeowner Commissions Ceramic Tile Mural at League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair This summer, at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair in Sunapee, NH, I had the pleasure of meeting Atena Rosak.  She fell in love with a long tree piece I had in my booth and commissioned a wall tile mural from me right then and there on the spot based on that piece.  We looked at color, texture, design, which way the tree should bend and how thick its trunk should be.  We picked colors together by arranging colored tiles I had in other murals hanging in the booth, and arranged them until we had the right color placement. I began making the tree a few weeks after the show. I rolled out tile, draped the slabs of clay over small forms I premade, waited for the clay to firm up, then applied a dark thin wash of slip to the white clay surface.  Then I began carving through that  dark slip in a process called sgraffito carving. Have you ever done scratch board?  The same concept is employed here. I carve through the black slip down through  to the white porcelain below. I carve enough black… Read More »