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Dragonfly River
c. 85" x 80

This installation was done for a former colleague at the Getty Center. Three design concepts were submitted to her in sketch format. After she chose a direction, I proceded to make careful measurements of the space and planned the layout using Adobe Illustrator software to lay out the tile configuration, leaving the center area for the main image. The main image area was drawn by hand, then scanned and added into the computer file.

I output a full size, black and white outline drawing of the center image area on a large format printer. This drawing was then traced onto plastic. The plastic was laid down onto a huge slab of clay I assempled on my dining room table. The design was transfferd onto the clay by tracing over the plastic, inscibing onto the slab. (I learned this technique from going to Pat Wehrman’s workshop in San Jose, sponsored by the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild) I proceded to carve the design into the slab. When the design was completed, I had to decide where to make my cuts, knowing that the grout lines would need to be integral to the overall design.


After the pieces were cut, I let the entire composition dry, continuing to push the pieces together. The field tiles were made with a cutter, and there are pressed tiles accenting the field area. I used melted glass in the centers of the half size tiles. I made a custom die for the trim pieces around the fireplace opening. All the pieces were made to fit, I did no cutting on site.
Next time I am going to get someone else to do the installation, it took over twenty hours and I wore off all the skin on my fingers because I refused to wear gloves. All in all the job took about 140 hours.

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Organic Sunspot
c. 65" x 50

This was my first fireplace installation, completed 3/2002. The goal of this design was to blend with the muted colors of the existing carpet, hearth and walls, yet provide a sparkle of color accent.

Three design concepts were prsented, this time the client went with an abstact rather than representational theme which really appeals to me. I did not use a tile cutter, the pieces were cut to fit the wall space. I used a sprayer for the first time and found to my surprise that the field tiles matched the existng hearth quite well because of the uneveness of the spray. The sculpted pieces at the top incorporate melted glass.

 

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