Come visit my hand-painted, kiln-fired ceramic tiles

darkflower tile
I will be at Artlife Gallery Thursday, Feb 7, noon to 6:00pm and Thursday, Feb 21 noon to 6:00pm displaying my hand-painted ceramic tiles. If you are in the neighborhood please drop by. Plaza El Segundo, El Segundo, CA, at 720 S Allied Way #B (Next to Veggie Grill). See you there!

(Design and photo copyright roslyn m wilkins)

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Out of the fire, into the frame

I originally posted this Sunday, December 11, 2011. This was the beginning of my new wave of hand-painted, kiln-fired ceramic tiles. Re-posted from my Art, Tiles and Mosaics blog.

Springing into Life quartet
Hand-painted kiln-fired ceramic tiles
Four 4.25 inch (10.8cm) tiles. Framed: approx 10.5 inches (26.7cm)

I fired this set of tiles Friday night. I was able to open the kiln around 1:00pm when the kiln temp was down to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (about 93 Celsius). The tiles were still too hot to touch so I had to place them in the frame with oven mitts. I was attending the Culver City Art Group holiday potluck in the evening and needed the pieces for the mini show.
Whenever we have a meeting (as opposed to an activity such as a gallery visit) the members can bring some artwork for the other attendees to vote on. Then once a year we add up the points and declare a winner.
As well as cats and scenes from my travels, I enjoy painting mandalas and abstracts. I am classifying this set of tiles as abstract. I used four different glazes of two coats each (Mayco Crystalite and Elements).
As I have mentioned before, ceramic tile painting has its frustrations. For me, the biggest one is not being able to see the colors before they are fired or how the glazes will behave in the firing process. This is also the delightful part. There are always surprises, both good and bad.
Although I like the idea of a quartet of tiles in one frame, once they came out of the oven I realized they would probably have been better in separate frames arranged next to each other, as each tile is like an individual painting. However, too late, as I did not have the required frames on hand.
Today I tried to pry the tiles out of the frame with a chisel and hammer but only succeeded in chipping the glaze and the frame. Fortunately, I was able to repair the damage. So I will have to leave these in the frame and paint a new set to be framed individually.
(Design and photo copyright roslyn m wilkins.)
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Another quartet of tiles show their colors

mother-earth-autumn-before-firing-600pxFriday, December 23, 2011

I am re-posting this blog post from my Art, Tiles and Mosaics website. I decided to consolidate my tile artwork into this blog and the other posts about art in general to my other blog One Good Life in Los Angeles.

The image above is how the bisque tiles looked before they were cooked in the kiln. As you can see, there is no indication of what the colors will look like or what shapes and textures the glazes will form. The fired tiles are below.

I can only look at color samples online which really means nothing other than giving me a basic idea of which glazes to put next to each other… or not. So when I am envisioning the end result I have only a very rudimentary idea in my head.


Mother Earth Autumn
Hand-painted kiln-fired ceramic tiles
Four 4.25 inch (10.8cm) tiles in 6 inch (15.2cm) frames

Here are the tiles fired and framed.

Again, it would be great if there was some way of showing the luminosity and textures of these glazes on this blog. I guess that will have to wait until I can make a holograph.

As I am becoming a little more familiar with how these glazes will behave that end result is somewhat easier to control…. up to a point. As you can imagine, I had plenty of disasters when I first started using these glazes.

I haven’t quite decided how to frame these yet. My first set of four tiles I framed together and afterwards wished I had framed them separately (too late, they were cemented in place). I am going to play around with the framing of these.

I have to say I am pretty much pleased with this set of tiles. There is something about designing in fours that is very satisfying to me. I am tentatively calling these Squares within Squares 1-4. But maybe Universes within Universes is a more poetic title. You can decide.

Update: I have titled this set Mother Earth Autumn.

(All designs and photos copyright roslyn m wilkins)

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Thanks to everybody for your likes, comments, personal emails, Facebook messages, etc…. and just for stopping by my blog… the response for my new series of ceramic tiles has been a little overwhelming! As soon as the show is over this weekend I will be checking out everyone’s blogs, websites, etc. and responding to other communications as appropriate. Cheers, r

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Storm before the Calm

Storm Before the Calm

Storm Before the Calm
Hand-painted, kiln-fired ceramic tile quartet
Four 4.25 inch (10.8cm) tiles. Framed: approx: 10.5 inches (26.7cm)

I painted the design layer the night before last and I was happy with the result when I took it out of the kiln in the morning.

So all it needed was an overlay of different colored and textured glazes to give it its finished look and another trip through the kiln. I just now took it out of the kiln and voila… it is ready to go!

This is my final firing before the show. I totally screwed up two other tiles I really liked by adding some glaze and refiring… but too late now…. I have to finish up all the framing and displays for what I have.

(Photos and artwork copyright roslyn m wilkins) 

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Black Moons on the Horizon

Black Moons on the Horizon four tile set

Black Moons on the Horizon, four tile set
Hand-painted, kiln-fired ceramic tiles
Four-tile set: each tile 4.25 inches (10.8cm). Each tile framed approx 6 inches (15.2cm)

Once again, these tiles were pretty lame on first firing. They have been through the kiln eight times or more. The poor things get to the point where no matter how much glaze you glomp on them the appearance just doesn’t change.

I decided to lay 1.5 inch round tile on the surface just for the heck of it. But I really wasn’t thinking when I did that about the position of the round or how the other tiles would relate to each other. Hence, all the firings.

If I do something like this again hopefully I will have learned from this experience and it won’t take so many firings to get it right.

But then there will be another challenge and I won’t get that right either the first time around.

I guess that’s why I love this process so much… it keeps my brain on high alert!

(Photos and artwork copyright roslyn m wilkins)

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Cosmic Journeys

cosmic-journeys tiles framed

Cosmic Journeys
Hand-painted, kiln-fired tiles. Four tile set.
Each tile: 4.25 inches (10.8cm). Each tile framed: approx 6.25 inches (15.9cm)

These tiles have been through so many convolutions. I can’t even remember how they started out! So many layers of glaze and firings…. at least half a dozen firings… could be more.

Although I liked how they looked halfway through there was still something not quite right. But I think I got it right now. Anyway, they are framed so it’s too late now!

(Photos and artwork copyright roslyn m wilkins)

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