The elements in my designs are inspired by searching through historical books in library archives, visiting museums and sketching personal impressions of antique objects or period architecture.
Using my original drawings as reference, I sculpt a blank slab of damp, stoneware clay into my desired design using a variety of metal hand tools. The sculpture process can take several weeks to carve and refine a single idea.
Once completed, I carefully create an impression of the sculpture with plaster. If there are any issues with the plaster cast process, the original sculpture will be ruined. This plaster cast becomes the master mold from which future tiles will be created.
Using the master mold, I carefully press fresh clay into the crevices of the plaster and smooth the back of the tile with a rubber rib tool. Once the clay becomes firm, I remove the new tile from the plaster, clean up the edges and carve a hanging notch in the back. Every tile is signed and stamped to show authenticity.
Every tile is fired in a high-temperature ceramic kiln at least twice. The first firing is used to harden the raw clay and the second firing is used to fuse glaze over the surface of the tile (an impervious layer of glass, minerals and colourants). The high temperature of the second firing transforms the clay into ceramic.
A third firing is required for the addition of gold lustre and iridescent mother-of-pearl accents. After firing, the tiles are wet-sanded to ensure they feel nice and smooth to handle.
When they are ready for transportation to their new home, each tile is carefully packaged in environmentally friendly, zero-waste materials such as recycled cardboard.