Tag Archives: “ceramic wall art”

“Little Tree of Four” Kitchen Backsplash

  Another happy customer from Natalie Blake Studios!  

"Our kitchen project is finished,

and the “Little Tree of Four” is installed.

It looks absolutely beautiful and is the highlight of our kitchen! "

G. Szegedy

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Little Tree of Four ceramic porcelain hand sgraffito carved backsplash.

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No maintenance tiles, that are easy to clean using any household cleaner and a scrubby, or wipe with Windex.

Color fast tiles, that are heat and water resistent.

Perfect to use in a kitchen near a stove or sink.

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Custom designs and sizes for any backsplash commission available within 6-12 weeks from receipt of deposit. Natalie Blake Studios designers will work with you to find the perfect image and colors to fit in your custom home. Please contact the studio by phone at 802.254.9761 or email at info@natalieblake.com.    

Tile Wall Art That “Pops” at Fireworks Restaurant

When Fireworks Restaurant in Brattleboro, Vermont, was putting on the finishing touches before opening four years ago, owner Matt Blau invited us to install some of our ceramic tile art in the restaurant. He said, "Do whatever you want. You tell me what you think would look good."
After those magic words, we brought some ceramic wall art tiles that we had in stock to the Brattleboro restaurant and began looking at color and design. Our rich glazes worked really well against the wall colors and our designs seemed to fit naturally with the other design elements in the space.  Almost on their own, these two ceramic tile murals found their home on the painted walls. The persimmon-colored abstracted tree, hung on the diagonal, added the perfect "fiery" entrance greeting to make the customer feel at home in the warm, vibrant surroundings and ready for good food.  The mural is set for the perfect feng shui to provide a sense of invitation and arrival.

Ceramic Wall Art as Restaurant Art, Natalie Blake Studios

The turquoise and burnt oak glazes on the long two-tier "window" of tiles absolutely popped over the rich dark purple black hues of Benjamin Moore's paint color "Tulsa Twilight 2070-10". We decided on a simple and straightforward presentation of the tiles that sit over the side bar. They present almost like a transom window at slightly higher than eye level to add sophistication and elegance.

Vermont Tile Wall Art in Restaurant, Handmade Ceramic by Natalie Blake Studios

Vermont Tile Wall Art in Restaurant, Handmade Ceramic by Natalie Blake Studios

On a recent visit to the restaurant Natalie received the following list of patron's quotes about the art tiles from the manager:

"Love the texture and color!"

"They are decorative, yet finely crafted."

"Love the botanical elements."

"Understated elegance."

"Love that the artist is local."

We love working with local businesses, and our wall art tiles are also installed in the second Fireworks Restaurant in Keene, NH.  Not only are the businesses, and their owners, our friends, but we have the pleasure of seeing the art transform a space whenever we explore Brattleboro.

Placing our art in restaurants and doing an installation like this is so much fun for us. It's always a pleasure to find a blank slate, so to speak, to get creative, to work with the client, and to complement existing design elements from the space.  It really gets our creative juices flowing!

Natalie Blake Studios Ceramic Wall Art Wins Award

Our ceramic wall art is now officially award-winning! The news has us very excited, so pardon the exclamation points: we won a gallery award at Art Comes Alive! The annual fine art contest and exhibit took place this past weekend in Cincinnati, OH. We are honored that our tile art was voted into the exhibit, and even more so to receive a contract award from Gallery One, Naples, FL. This is the piece that got us there: "Botanical", a 42" x 56" ceramic wall art mural, glazed in honey, turquoise, cashew, moss and jade. handmade, ceramic wall art tile According to the Art Comes Alive sponsors, Art Design Consultants, Inc., the awards recognize the “brightest and best artists in a variety of categories.” Our piece is one of 150 chosen for the exhibit, out of a staggering 1,500 entries. Getting our tile art mural into the exhibit itself is no small feat, and requires an intense jurying process. Roy Saper, owner of Saper Galleries and Custom Framing, was one of the jurors responsible for choosing pieces for the exhibit. “The online jurying process took me hours. And hours. And hours,” he said. And no wonder, with so many pieces of art in the mix. After each juror reviews each piece, the ones with the most votes are included in the exhibit. From that list, galleries and award donors choose the recipients of their awards. That's where Gallery One comes in – they awarded us a gallery award, and will now carry our work at their gallery in Naples, FL. We will be honored to be represented by this great gallery, which also represents our good friend, fabulous Vermont artist and Fulcrum Arts Center business partner, Randi Solin of Solinglass. Funnily enough, we will share Gallery One with Dr. Seuss as well.  

Anatomy of a Natalie Blake Tile

When you see one of our finished Natalie Blake Studios tiles, the bold lines, undulating shape and vibrant color work together to make each design unique. But when we create them, these elements come to life one at a time, each through its own process. There are three distinct parts to our hand-sculpted tiles: shape, lines and color. Thinking about them on their own shines a light on our process of making ceramic tiles.

Giving Ceramic Tiles Shape - Natalie Blake Studios

Shape Shape and form come before anything else. To give the tiles structure and dimension, each tile is rolled out and gently draped over forms of all different shapes and sizes (on the right, above). The molds are made of hard-fired ceramic so they can be used over and over in an ever-growing library of everything from plump, oblong molds to skinny, curvy molds. The formed clay sets up overnight before it is firm enough to take off of the molds and handle (painting slip and carving comes next). We lay each tile next to the other to form the larger mural design – our work tables are huge!

Carving, s-graffito tiles - Natalie Blake Studios

Bold Lines After the clay has taken on its shape and has hardened to a leather-like consistency, we apply slip and begin sgraffito carving. Natalie and Cynthia's styles are so fluid that carving seems effortless, like a conductor getting caught up in the momentum of the music. They sketch the outlines of the designs right on the clay, then do the work of carving out the many, many lines in between, one at a time. Their lines add texture, define shape and detail, and become the canvas for color. Color from glazes, added later, appears where the top layer of clay and slip have been removed.

Colors for Cermaic Tiles - Natalie Blake Studios

Vibrant Colors After carving, our tiles are bisque-fired, which hardens them and turns the slip coat a dark color. Then the colorful fun begins: adding one (or several) of 32 glazes to get the bright, beautiful colors that characterize Natalie Blake Studios tiles. Colors appear only where we carve lines, where the dark slip and bright colors lends delicious contrast. We spray the glazes on, using an industrial car-paint sprayer, so a single tile can have many colors shaded and blended together. Pieces like our butterflies and custom tile backsplashes become even more beautiful with this play of color. With so much going on in each and every tile, Natalie Blake Studios tiles are a beautiful and easy way to add dimension with wall art or create texture in a backsplash or tiled wall. They're stunning in any setting – at least, we think so.