Tessellating with ATNW


This morning I hosted an open studio for the members of Artisan Tile NW. Rather than demonstrate how I create my tessellating patterns, I decided to explain some of the basic geometric rules to make tessellations so that they could design their own. I’m not sure these women were expecting me to put them to work but they all picked up the concept very quickly. Some even began transforming their tessellating shapes into animals. A big thanks to this creative and fun group for being such good sports!

Mug Shots

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ucoop 04 glzucoop 03 glzucoop 05 glzucoop 02 glz

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I spent this past Sunday afternoon with a few families from University Cooperative School in Seattle. We had a mug making workshop. I haven’t done a workshop like this before so I was a little apprehensive. Making vessels requires a lot more patience than making tiles. I was really impressed with the focus and care everyone put into their creations. I’m crossing my fingers that everything fires up nicely. More pictures to come…

It’s October 19th and I fired the mugs yesterday. Each mug was coated with a clear glaze and fired to cone 5. I debated whether to glaze both the inside and outside or just the inside. I prefer not to glaze the outside of my stamped cups but Ollie talked me into glazing the outside of these. I guess my cups must look a little unfinished to him. He was kind of disappointed however that some of his details got muted. Overall the firing was a success – no broken pieces!


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I ‘m delighted that our friends Miki, Yoshi, Kazuki, and Haruki were able to spend time with us in the studio before they return to Japan. They made beautiful souvenirs with pictures of things that they will remember about Seattle.

Smith Planter

smith planter

This planter was built with tiles created by Ms. Smith’s second graders at Sand Point Elementary School. I love the fact that so many kids got excited about attaching those “marbles” to their tiles – it gives the piece a really playful feel. The planter was auctioned off at a school fundraiser to help initiate an art program at the school.

Herr Planter

herr planter

Zamira Romy Junyu Deveyana

This is a recently completed planter featuring tiles from Ms. Herr’s fourth grade students at Sand Point Elementary in Seattle. Above are a few tiles not shown in the full view. I was delighted at how different each tile looked – every student had a unique approach. The planter was finished by applying a brown underglaze and wiping most of it away to highlight the details. It was then covered with a clear glaze.

Chhun Planter

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This is the first planter made with a group of students. The tile makers were Mrs. Chhun’s first graders at Lake Harriet Community School in Minneapolis. They were each given a plain 4×4 inch pressed clay tile and a brief introduction to a few techniques of modeling and carving. It was up to each child to come up with an idea and explore the medium in their own way. I then rolled out a circular bottom slab and “stitched” the tiles together in rings working up from the bottom. The lip was made by lining the top edge with a long strip of clay.