Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decorative ceramic Celtic Owl tile

I am coeval with the ancient oak
Whose roots spread wide in yonder moss
Many a race has passed before me
And still I am the lonely owl of Srona
                                                 Domhnull Mac Fhionnlaidh

Owl, cailleach-oidhche (crone of the night), sacred to the Goddess in her crone aspect
symbolizes esoteric wisdom & secrecy.
This is our very popular 6x6 Celtic Owl tile, shown here in a high gloss espresso art glaze.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celtic mermaid and seal ceramic tile

Our new relief carved 8"x 8" Celtic Mermaid and seal tile.

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body'
Laughed; and plunged down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
                                     William Butler Yeats

Tales of mermaids and their many interactions with humans have been around for centuries. They form a large part of seafaring lore, especially, but not exclusively around the coastal areas of Britian.
Although most stories are of sea dwelling mermaids, many are told of them haunting rivers and deep pools. The name mermaid is often used to describe a range of supernatural water creatures.
The classic mermaid known in western cultures is derived from Celtic legend, folklore and local sealore in places where people were in contact with the sea as part of every day life.
Christopher Columbus logged that he had seen mermaids on his journey to the new world and was suprised that they were not more attractive. The popular belief is that it was actually manatees he saw.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Celtic Claddagh, decorative ceramic tile

8 x 8 relief carved ceramic Claddagh tile, a symbol of love, friendship & loyalty.
The Claddagh ring was designed around 400 years ago by Richard Joyce in a fishing village called Claddagh overlooking Galway Bay. It belongs to a group of finger rings which date from Roman times called Fede or Faith rings. The Claddagh is a very distinctive design amongst Fede rings and there are several stories as to it's origins. One of the more popular tales is that a Richard Joyce of Galway was captured by Algerian corsairs and sold to a Moorish goldsmith,  from whom he learned the craft. In 1689, as the result of a demand from King William III, he was released from slavery. The Moor offered him his only daughter in marriage along with half his wealth if he would remain in Algiers. Richard declined and returned home with the idea and skills to craft the Claddagh ring. The earliest rings to be traced bear his mark & initials.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Decorative relief carved hummingbird ceramic tile

Flight has always represented freedom and the ascent of the soul to the gods. Birds share something of the same symbolic meaning. Coming from the skies they are messengers from higher powers, for good or ill.

Here's a relief carved & hand painted pair of 6x6 Humming bird tiles with iridecent mother of pearl luster on the feathers. The flowers can be custom painted in any color.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Celtic mermaid & seal tile carving

I have now finished carving the 8x8 Celtic mermaid & seal tile designed by our daughter Sara.
Here's the original carving in progress.

Here's John preparing the frame for the plaster mold.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Decorative ceramic raven tile

Ravens, well known for thier intelligence, have been distinguished in numerous cultures as a harbinger of powerful secrets. To the Celts Bran, the Welsh word for Raven, is associated with healing, initiation, protection and the gift of prophecy. For the Norse they are symbolic of mind, thought & wisdom. In Native North American tradition the raven is a venerated bird of creation, known as the bringer of light as well as being wise & sly.

This is our 14 x 7 demi lune raven tile. I thought I'd feature this tile today after a friend of mine that was visiting for a couple of days had an interesting raven encounter on a trail by the beach.
This tile is one of my personal favorites and holds a feature spot in my kitchen. As with all our demi lune tiles it looks great over a doorway, especially if your an Edgar Allen Poe fan.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Green man ceramic tile

Here is our new 6 x 6 green man tile. The green man has been a powerful symbol throughout western culture, representing male energy and the eternal cycle of decay and renewal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Decorative ceramic dragon tiles

Dragons, symbols of the primal energy upholding the material world, in themselves neither good nor bad. Representing the mutual dependence of light & dark, creation & destruction, male & female. The dragon embodies the unifying force underlying these opposites.

These 14 x 7 half round dragon tiles of ours look great hung on thier own above a doorway.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Celtic Knotwork

Decorative knotwork, the most identifiable type of Celtic art produced by the ancient Celts has been steeped in mystery for some thousand years. The symbolism is not that concrete, like the knots themselves thier meanings are fluid and abstract, more related to the universe & life in general than to spacific interactions.
This is our 3 x 6 Celtic knot border tile done in our most popular color, mossy stone.
It's a really nice color that goes well with alot of decors, but sometimes I do wonder if the name, mossy stone, also contributes to it's popularity.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Celtic tree of life

Standing in the center of paradise, the tree of life is a representation of perfect harmony. This is our three piece Celtic tree of life set, it measures 10" x 21" and is shown here in a deep green glossy art glaze, one of my personal favorites. It's 1/2" thick, which is a little thicker than most of our tiles. Because of this we always glaze part way down the edges so it can be installed with a thinner plain tile.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tree worship, Celtic tree tile

The worship of one of mankinds most potent symbols, the tree was widespread in nearly all parts of the world where they grew. They are the embodiment of life where the heavens, earth and water unite and an axis around which the universe is organized. Believed to be infused with an abundance of divine creative energy, forests came to symbolize mystery and transformation.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Celtic cross tile

The Celtic cross, bringing together the cross & circle, was a symbol associated with prosperity and fertility many centuries before Christianity. The cross representing the sun, male generative power and the circle the moon, female. Within Christianity it has come to represent the union of Heaven & earth.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Celtic cross carving in progress

Here's my latest carving in progress, an 8x8 Celtic cross tile. I'm not exactly churnning them there carvings out at a terrific speed lately. This one will probably be finished this weekend, unless the grandkids come over... I hope I don't get it finished this weekend : )  A 6x6 green man next.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New ceramic tile glaze color

I love this new glaze color I've developed,  and it's not finickety. Dependable glazes are sooo nice. I've done it here on our 8 x 8 tree top tile, but it looks really great on plain tiles as well.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to make your own ceramic tile grout

I found this recipe for making your own tile grout, I'd be interested to know if anyones tried it and what they think. Mix 2 parts dry clean sand with 1 part portland cement. Add this to water to form a slow damp curing grout.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Celtic trinity tile almost ready for production
Finally finished carving the 8x8 Celtic trinity tile, now it's Johns turn to take over and make a mold of it. Meanwhile I'll be starting on another 8x8 carving, a much requested  Celtic cross tile. Now that our big birthday month is almost over with all it's ensuing trips to town I should be able to get this one done a little faster.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Celtic trinity carving

Resited going to the beach today to take bird photos and worked on the new 8x8 Celtic trinity tile I'm carving. Here it is in progress, I think it will be a nice addition to our line. Next is a Celtic cross.