Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moravian Pottery and Tile works

When I went to Philadelphia for the Buyers Market Show in February I made it a point to have an additional day to visit the Moravian Pottery and Tile works in Doylestown, PA. It is a 1.5 hour train ride with 1/2 hour walk from the train station to the studio, but worth every minute and much more.
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (6)
Seeing the video of the history of how these tiles acme about was great with so much great insight to some simple processes that still in use there.
Check out the number of tiles a worker had to produce in a day. That is a lot of freaking tiles!!!
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (4)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (3)
It was great to get an in depth look into process with one of the artists there (Eric, don't recall his last name). He was grateful to answer all my questions and also gave me a ride back to the train station in the freezing rain. I was amazed to see that the tiles were all physically pressed by hand with simple tools till date and he mentioned that the tile press was used for mostly open faced tiles. A very basic tile press and plans of making one are in Frank Giorgini's book "Handmade Tiles"
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (2)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (1)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (7)
This I think was one of the most genius things I saw there. Their boards for storing tiles during making, decorating and glazing was so simple. Just a board with small 1x2s attached at the end that just stack and make a cool inbuilt shelving system. They have been using this system for years and some of those boards are really old. Some of the simplest ideas are the greatest.
Of course going there has me inspired t do some tile work. I have had it at the back of my mind for years, but going to this place has really got me thinking again. I have already started working on some prototypes, so hopefully I will have new products during the summer shows.

What places or workplaces have you visited that have inspired you?

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Slip Decoration Madness Video

As many of you know, Slip decoration is big part of my work. And my work is highly influenced by Indian fabrics colors and embroidery. At first instance people assume I am imprinting a piece of fabric on my clay and then make my forms.
That is not the case and the pieces get slip decorated individually making each one unique. I try to keep adding new patterns and designs and since each piece gets its own unique touch, each one lands up being one of a kind.
Here is a short video clip (speeded up, of course) showing a typical day in my studio. I wish I could decorate at that speed. I enjoy this part of the process, but have heard comments that it is just madness.
So call me crazy, but I LOVE it!
To see other pieces of my work slip decorated visit my website

Do you think this is Madness?

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