Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Relief carved Celtic ceramic sun tile

Relief carved 2x2 sun tile available at

Happy Solstice!
I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I was called by the darkness by the song of the earth
I joined in the singing and she gave me birth

The sun is in the south and the days lengthen fast
And soon we will sing for the winter that is past
Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn
And dance the dance of the suns return!

The moon in her phases and the tides of the sea
the movement of the earth and the seasons that will be
are rhythm for the dancing and a promise through the years
The dance goes on through joy and tears.

Dance then, wherever you may be!
I am the lord of the dance said he!
I'll lead you on wherever you may be!
I will lead you all in the dance said he!

From 'Lord of the dance' Traditional

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Relief carved Celtic harp tile

Relief carved 6x6 ceramic Celtic harp tile available at

When harpers once in wooded hall
a shinning cord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
of great and low alike

Aglow by hearth and candle flame
From burning branch to ember
The mist of all they're music sang
as if to ask in wonder

Is there a moment quite as keen
or memory as bright
as light and fire and music sweet
To warm a winters night

Adam Christianson

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Decorative relief carved ceramic Celtic dogs tile
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6x6 relief carved Celtic dogs tile available at
Even as magical beasts grew rare in the Western world, travelers tales would suggest they still flourished in remote corners of the earth. Marco Polo, the Italian wanderer,  reported that a society of canine people inhabited the Andaman Island off  what was the coast of  Burma. Although there was mention of sometimes devouring mortals, they still engaged in a prosporous trade with India. A much more peaceful fare of rice, nuts, apples and milk being the usual diet. Several decades after Marco Polos journeys, Sir John Mandeville, an English writer, described another dog headed tribe. The king of these beast people on the Island of Macumeran, a far away place no longer known, had an enormous ruby pendant about his neck. His subjects, reported Mandeville, wore the image of the ox which they worshiped on their turbans. That seemed to be all Mandeville was able to tell of them ; )

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decorative, relief carved ceramic Celtic tree tile
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6x6 relief carved Celtic tree tile available at
The rowan tree, linked with the Norse word 'runa' a charm and the Sanskrit 'runa' meaning a magician has long held the reputation for protection from enchantment.  Opposite their stalks the red rowan berries carry a tiny 5 pointed star or pentagram, the ancient magical symbol of protection. Along with many other trees the Rowan played a central role in Druid ceremonies.  Even in more recent history, in parts of Britian sprigs were placed in the cattle barn, over the main door of the house and worn for protection and to ward off enchantment. In Wales Rowan trees were planted in Churchyards to watch over the spirits of the dead.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decorative relief carved ceramic griffin tiles

A bookmatched pair of relief carved 4x10 ceramic griffin tiles
Available at
In medieval Europe, Heraldry evolved as a way to identify various noble families by their emblems in a pre-literate population. Many families favored animals that either connected with their family name in some way or had qualities they felt themselves to possess. Some, such as the griffin were mythical, others like lions, leopards and tigers were exotic but closely resembled more familiar European creatures. Heraldic beasts made their appearance on many things including helmets, shields, pennants and in wood and stone carvings.
The griffin represents vigilance and vengance. An Heraldic beast which combines the attributes of both eagle & lion, symbolic guardian of the tree of life or the path to salvation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Decorative, relief carved ceramic cat tile

14" x 7" relief carved half round cat tile
Nocturnal & independent, cats are most frequently associated with the moon and feminine mysteries. They were domesticated in Egypt around 2,000 BC. Bastet, the ancient Egyptian moon Goddess as well as other dieties were represented by the cat. In Druid tradition cats are also sacred to the lunar Goddess, appearing in Irish, Welsh and Breton folklore. They have a particularly powerful connection to Scotland where numerous clans held the cat as their totem animal.
A pictish tribe named the cat people lived in Caithness, the promontory (ness) of the cats. Sutherland in Gaelic is Cataobh, Cat Country. In the west, the Churches fear of  the powers cats were said to have in the spirit world as well as their aliance with Shamans & magicians caused them to be the victim of persecution and cruelty. Many thousands of cats in Briton & France were tortured and burned. The Chinese on the other hand credited the cat with the ability to banish evil spirits. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Relief carved ceramic orange tree tile mural
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Relief carved, hand painted 11.5 x 20 Orange tree ceramic tile mural.
Available at

The tree, believed to be a source of divine creative energy, has been and still is one of mankinds most potent symbols. They are the embodiment of life, where the heavens, earth and water meet. Thier fruits are considered manifestations of the sun and represent the rewards of spiritual growth.
In many cultures orange trees are a symbol of love & marriage.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Decorative, relief carved ceramic wave border tile

Our new 8 x 2.5 relief carved ceramic wave border tile shown here in 'emerald shadow' one of our custom high gloss art glaze colors. Available at

Water is life's mater & matrix,
Mother & medium.
There is no life without water.
(Albert Szent-Gyorgyi)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Decorative handmade Relief carved ceramic dragon tile

Relief carved 14" x 7" Demi lune dragon tile #2
Available at

The dragon has been a creature of myth and ledgend throughout the world for centuries, chiefly representing the creation of the earth and life as a result of the combination of the elements.
Ancient Celts believed that dragons were creatures of the parallel world and their power and presence had a profound affect on the 'ley of the land' historically meaning how the flow of cosmic forces influenced an area and the affect the area had on those forces. The path of the dragons was critical to the flow of energy, spots where dragons crossed or rested were places of heighened power, Stonehenge is thought to be one of these places. This tradition is also observed in the Orient within the Ancient practice of Feng Shui.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Handmade, relief carved ceramic dragonfly tile

7 1/2" round relief carved dragonfly tile
Available at

A creature of wind & water, dragonflies have inhabited this planet for almost 300 millon years, so It's not surprising that in most cultures throughout the world they have been the object of many associations & superstitions both good and bad. They are a much admired & respected symbol of good luck in Japan as well as in China where they are associated with prosperity & harmony. To the Native Americans dragonflies were a sign of happiness, purity and speed, able to travel at 45 mph. In Swedish folklore they were known for sewing the mouths closed of children who told a lie. The Welsh called them snakes servants believing they followed snakes around to stitch up any wounds they might incure. They were also reported to measure human souls for good & evil. Dragonflies have a strong connection to Freya, a Norse goddess of love, fertility and warfare.
It is speculated that the source of our modern symbol of love may be the paired bodies of mating dragonflies which form the shape of a heart.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Relief carved Art deco Rose fairy ceramic tile

Relief carved 4 x 8 nude Rose fairy tile shown here in a taupe underglaze with a clear gloss finish.
Available at
Flowers are the universal symbols of youth and vitality most commonly linked with the paradisal state & feminine beauty.
The Chinese had a saying that for each woman living in this world a flower boomed in the next 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Relief carved ceramic green man tile

Happy May Day!
This is our 6x6 relief carved green man tile, shown here in a dark green underglaze with a clear gloss glaze finish. Available at

Durring the 16th & 17th centuries in the UK May Day was celebrated with garlands of flowers and leaves. These garlands became increasingly elaborate to the extent that they would cover an entire man. This became known as Jack in the green, associated with the green man, one of the most powerful fertility symbols throughout western culture. By the turn of the 19th century, the Victorian disapproval of bawdy, anarchic behaviour replaced the somewhat lewd lord & lady of the May and their practical jokes with a pretty, demure May queen. The noisy, drunken Jack in the green vanished altogether from the May day parades.
The Jack in the green custom finally enjoyed a revival in the 1970's and continues in some places today.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Relief carved ceramic thistle tile

4x4 Relief carved and handpainted thistle tile
Available at
The thistle, a favorite food of many song birds, especially finches, is an ancient Celtic symbol for nobility of both character & birth. It has been the national emblem of Scotland for well over 500 years.
This is an excerpt from a Robert Burns poem, writen in reply to        
' The Guid Wife of Wauchope House'  a poem writen to Burns by Elizabeth Scott 1787.

The rough burr-thistle,
spreading wide among the bearded bear
I turn'd the weeder-clips aside
A'n spare'd the symbol dear
No nation, no station
my envy e'er could raise:
A Scot still, but blot still,
I knew know higher praise.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Decorative Handmade Moon & Sun ceramic tiles

Relief carved 8 x 8 Sun man and Moon woman tiles
Available at

The skies, for ancient peoples, were a screen on which they projected their most profound speculations and spiritual needs. As the prime source of light and heat, the sun combined with rain to bring forth and sustain life. It's active, creative energy was considered to be a male attribute, and because of its high position in the heavens and the clarity of its light, the sun was reguarded as all-seeing, and was worshipped as a ( mainly masculine) god in a number of civilizations.
The moon is generally seen as feminine, partly owing to the correspondence of the lunar month with the menstrual cycle. Constantly changing from phase to phase and varying its position in the sky, the moon is fickle in character, but at the same time symbolizes resurrection, immortality and the cyclical nature of all things. It stands for the power of the dark, mysterious side of nature, and the moon goddess was almost universally perceived as the weaver of fate and controller of destinies, in the same way she controlled the tides, the weather, rainfall and seasons.
While the sun and moon symbolized the principal gods, the stars embodied those of lesser importance, whose influence on human fate was more remote. The moon as queen of the heavens is often shown haloed with stars to symbolize the obeisance paid to her by the other forces of nature.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Relief carved Saraswati ceramic tile

4 x 16 Saraswati tile shown here in honey underglaze with a clear gloss finish
Available at
Saraswati, a river Goddess in early history is better known now as the Goddess of knowledge and art, representing the free flow of wisdom & consciousness. She is also associated with anuraga, the love for and rythym of music, she plays the music of love and life on her vina.
There is a legend that when Shiva opened his third eye, the flame that eminated from it threatened to destroy everything in it's path. Saraswati undaunted, knowing that it would only destroy that which was impure took the shape of a river. She carried the flame deep into the sea  transforming it into a fire breathing mare and declared the creature would stay underground as long as wisdom was sought after on earth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Decorative relief carved raven ceramic tile

Happy April fools, a good day to feature one of our custom instalations with the trickster raven in it.

Although the origins of April fools day remain a mystery,  historians believe it evolved directly out of one of the many ancient renewal festivals practiced by cultures around the world. These festivals held to celebrate the return of spring often involved ritualized forms of mischief and mayhem. The wearing of disguises and playing of pranks was common. Social order was symbolicly challenged for a strictly set time then restored, reafirming the stability of the society and the cycle of life. It is frequently suggested that the feast of Lud,  held in honor of Lud an ancient Celtic god of humor,  was the forerunner of April fools day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Handmade, relief carved ceramic frog & fern tile

6 x 12 relief carved ceramic frog & fern tile
Available at

Frogs have featured prominently in the folklore of many cultures around the world and continue to do so right up to modern pop culture. Connected to the moon and the symbol of new beginings, fertility, transformation & good luck, frogs were often considered representatives of the water spirits by the Druids. In Scotland stone frogs are often given as house warming presents, a good luck symbol to be kept in the garden. The frog goddess Heket was worshiped by Egyptians, to whom the frog symbolized life itself. In China the frog represents the lunar Yin, it's spirit being associated with healing & good fortune.

Breaking the silence
of an ancient pond
A frog jumped into the water
A deep resonance

One of the thirty odd translations into English of the famous Haiku by Matsuo Basho 1686

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ceramic Celtic Shamrock tile

Happy St. Paddy's day!
This is our 6 x 6 Shamrock tile, we have the same design in a 4 x 4 as well.
Available at

Seamrog or shamrock, although not the official symbol of Ireland, that being the harp, is the one that is associated with Ireland more than any other emblem.
For the ancient Druids the wild shamrock, known as wood sorrel was a mystic symbol representing joy, maternal tenderness and associated with the Celtic sun wheel. The Druids considered the shamrocks impressive vitality & medicinal qualities to be a sign of sacredness. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celtic Harp tile

6 x 6 Celtic Harp tile shown here in a high gloss leaf green glaze
Available at

Music & chanting can evoke profound states of consciousness and stimulate mystical experiences.
Traditionally it has symbolized the order and harmony behind all creation.
In the Celtic tradition, Daghda, the Celtic god of plenty used a harp to summon the seasons.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Relief carved Celtic horse ceramic tile

Our relief carved 12 x 12 Celtic tripple horse tile, shown here decorated in a honey underglaze
with a clear gloss glaze finish.
Available at

The horse goddess Epona originated in Gaul. But Her cult was so popular it quickly spread to Britain and as far east as Bulgaria,  she was the only Celtic diety to be worshiped in Rome, her feast day being the 18th of December. In Welsh tradition, Eponas equivalent is Rhiannon and in Ireland the goddeses Macha & Etain. She was known as both a protectress as well as the mother goddess who presided over the life cycle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Relief carved ceramic faerie tile

Our new 6x6 faerie tile.
Available at

Asking questions, open minds
Looking in between
Seeking love, and various kinds
Of creatures yet unseen

Taking chances, bravely stride
Beyond the realms we know
With magic hoping to collide
To feel our spirits grow

Stepping closer to the brink
We ponder mythic themes
Through the veil, with mother sync
World of wonder,  faerie dreams.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Decorative handmade ceramic crane tile

6 x 6 Crane tile done in a mocha cream gloss glaze.

One of the most frequently mentioned birds of the ancient Irish & British tradition, the crane represents secret knowlege, patience & longevity. The same symbolism is attributed to the crane in Chinese culture as well, where next to the phoenix it is the most favored of all the bird symbols.
Cranes dance in circles, which the ancients associated with both the movement of the sun and their role as guides, leading souls out of incarnation and back again to birth ( the stork?) Many cultures around the world were known to enact ritual crane dances, using nine steps and a leap while weaving in and out of a maze pattern to symbolize the journey of the soul.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Handmade Celtic Ceramic tile installation

Here's a picture of one of our 30 x 30 Celtic tile sets in the process of being installed. We don't do installing ourselves, we just make the tiles, but we do recomend shopping around for a setter that's had some experience with handmade tiles. Because of the variations there is often more "eyeballing" and minor adjustments to be done than you'll get with most manufactued tiles. is a pretty informatve site if your planning on doing your own tile setting.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Celtic deer and dragon ceramic tile set

This is our 30 x 30, 12 piece Celtic deer and dragon tile set. It's 1/2 inch thick with very shallow relief carving,  which makes it especially suited to being installed on either the floor or wall. It's shown here in two of our best selling colors, Mocha cream & Mossy stone.
We have the same design in a 13 x 13, 9 piece set. This one's 3/8 inch thick and the center tile has deeper relief carving.

In both Celtic and Native American symbolism the deer, or hind, represents femininity, gentleness and kindness. Called "Faerie cattle" by ancient Celts, who believed them to be supernatural.
Dragons,  in the British Celtic mythology, symbolize power of the elements and  treasures of the subconscious mind.