Artisan Tile Northwest Festival 2017

                     

Last weekend, I participated in the 12th annual Artisan Tile Northwest Handmade Tile & Art Festival. It was another inspiring showcase of tiles made in clay, glass, concrete, and stone. I was also excited to see some of the other arts and crafts that many of the exhibitors displayed. There were beautiful bowls, bird houses, ornaments, and jewelry – something for everyone.

This was the first year the festival was held at the Mt. Baker Community Club. The elegant space had high ceilings, hardwood floors, and was perfectly suited for the number of artist’s tables and visitors that turned out on a rainy weekend. A special thanks to Allison Peel Moore for organizing the show and Jaki Reed for assisting her.

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Save the Date!

   

         

      

I can’t believe it’s already October! The Artisan Tile Northwest’s 12th Annual Tile Festival is just around the corner – be sure to check it out. This year’s festival will be held at the Mt. Baker Community Club in Seattle on November 4th and 5th.

I finally came up with a concept to finish the Commemorative Tile. While a bit labor intensive (due to several layers of underglazes and firings) it’s actually pretty simple. I decided not to glaze them. This was a difficult decision because I truly love glaze. Unfortunately, glaze smothers detail and sometimes that’s fine but I didn’t like the results on this tile.

This year the Tile Festival is allowing non-tile work to be included so I’m thinking of making a series of Pug Mugs to accompany my “Scratching Dogs” tiles. Definitely going with a canine theme this year.

Also, I’ve been busy making some boards for the garage project. I don’t think these with be ready to show at the festival but maybe I’ll include them in a photo album I plan to set out that will feature the tessellation panels. I’ll be posting more photos of these as they come together.

Commemorative Tile

                                                               

Artisan Tile Northwest’s Annual Tile & Art Festival will take place on November 4th & 5th at Mount Baker Community Club. For more details go to:  http://artisantilenw.org/annual-festival/

Each year the Festival has a competition where artists can submit a tile that explores a particular theme. The winner of this competition is asked to design a commemorative tile for the following year. It’s traditionally been an image that evokes something unique to the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few examples: http://artisantilenw.org/2013-tile-fest/commemorative-tiles/

As last year’s winner I am honored to be working on the 2017 commemorative tile. This year I’ve carved over 50 dog tiles, so I wanted to incorporate a dog in some way. In a nod to the persistent rain of our region,  I chose to combine an umbrella (which frankly no one really uses) with the ubiquitous French Bulldog.  I’m excited to try out some different glaze options, possibly combining glossy glazes with matte or unglazed areas of the tile. More photos to come…

Scratching Yaks?

                  

I’ve been busy with several tile projects this past month including a few Scratching Dog commissions. I have noticed however, that I’ve been getting requests for other animals so I thought I’d highlight these tiles in a quick post. The yak was made for Ollie, who is inexplicably obsessed with yaks. The sloth bear is for Romy – currently her favorite animal.

Spring Hill, Pittsburgh

                   

We have this old concrete block garage that’s a bit of an eyesore. I think there’s an opportunity here for an interesting tile installation so I’ve begun to research what others have done in outdoor settings. I started with some of the better know tile projects like the work of Jujol, Gaudi’s collaborator in Barcelona and Simon Rodia’s Watt’s Tower in LA, but then I came across the artist Linda Wallen. She’s done a lot of mosaic projects in Pittsburgh. I’m particulary taken with the houses she’s tiled in the Spring Hill neighborhood. They’re beautiful collages made with materials that she’s gathered or been given. Each mural tells a story, both in the way the fragments have been selected, and in the way they’ve been arranged.

April ATNW Events

           

I participated in two really fun hands-on workshops with Artisan Tile Northwest http://artisantilenw.org/ this month. The first was a raku firing at Seattle Pottery Supply. I haven’t done a raku firing since college. It was just as dirty, smokey, smelly and fun as I remember it. There were dramatically different results from piece to piece with some incredibly beautiful pieces scattered throughout.

Last night we had a mold making workshop lead by ATNW member Steve Moon. Steve showed us some great ways to build durable and precise cottle boards from acrylic. Here are some photos of the demo he did with Sue Tuttle. It was her first mold making experience. Great job Steve and Sue!

Modern Day Shaggy Dog Story

   

   

Last week I went to the Artisan Tile NW monthly meeting. There was an interesting and informative presentation called “Social Media Marketing for Artists” by artist and comedian Meredith Arnold http://www.mereditharnold.com/. Meredith covered a range of topics including types of social media and various apps for cross-referencing sites and managing these services. I’ve always been slow to explore the latest tech tools, be it hardware or software, so my head was spinning by the end of the evening. Nevertheless, I retained enough info to use these tools more effectively. As Meredith pointed out, the trick is not to try to do everything but rather find what works best for us and build from there. So far, I’ve had some success reaching interested buyers with Facebook.

An interesting chain of events started a couple of months ago. I finally set up a Facebook account this year (like I said, I’m kind of slow). One of the pages I follow is the Seattle Humane Society http://www.seattlehumane.org/. That’s where we adopted Sam and where I still get inspiration for my “Scratching Dogs” tiles. It’s fun to see the photos and videos they post. One morning they posted a video of Sarge – the beautiful black Shepard mix that I made a portait of. After a year at the shelter he was still looking for a home. I responded to their post with a comment and photo of my tile. Jenny, a staff member at the Seattle Humane Society, had been working with Sarge and searched my Etsy site for his portrait. In the process, she saw a portrait of Georgia, a sweet little dog she had recently adopted (that’s Georgia’s portrait on the bookcase). She was so happy with the purchase that she ordered custom portaits of her other two pets. Then she posted one or more of her tile portaits on the Seattle Humane’s Volunteer Facebook page. I got a ton of views from her post. Another Facebook user, Charly, saw Freya’s portait (the golden Pit Bull mix posing with her new portait). I’m currently working on three new custom orders as a result of Jenny’s post. Thanks again Jenny!

In unrelated news, Sarge was adopted last week 🙂