Creating ceramic wall art and backsplash tile
Tiles from Natalie Blake Studios are created from porcelainia-stoneware clay. The clay is rolled out flat, cut into squares or shapes, and draped and smoothed over individual forms that can be repositioned for each mural or single tile. These forms create the undulating quality of our tiles. After the clay has firmed up, the tiles are removed from the molds and a slip of red iron oxide is brushed onto them. The design is then carved, free-hand, onto the tiles using a clay carving tool. This traditional style of carving is called sgraffitto, an Italian term meaning “to scratch.” The carving removes the top layer, revealing the contrasting layer below. The nature of our materials and process results in final designs in clay that are vibrant and gestural. The undulation of the tile and the process of carving, combine to create our signature bold, energetic style. Our palette of 35 rich glazes adds luminosity and depth. The resulting work is striking, spirited and sculptural. After the tiles are slow-dried, they are fired in a bisque kiln to 1900 degrees Farenheit. After bisque firing, we add the color by hand spraying the tiles with glazes. The tiles are then high- fired to a temperature of 2140 degrees Farenheit. Each of our one-of-a-kind designs is created to suit the space it will inhabit. No two tiles are alike; each tile reflects the artistry of the hand that touches it.