Sunday, December 29, 2013

Decorative handmade ceramic Celtic owl tile set

Owls and humans the world over have forever had a strong connection to one another. The very ancient goddess of death, Lilith is depicted with talons as feet, a horned head dress and flanked by owls. She was likely the inspiration for Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare able to assume the shape of an Owl. The many ‘Little Owls’ that inhabit the rock crevices of Athens and the Acropolis were believed to be embodiments of Athena. The Romans, who appropriated many of the Greeks beliefs, associated Owls with Minerva, goddess of prophesy and wisdom. Representations of Owls were used in Rome to ward off the evil eye and feathers as well as other Owl parts were found in many magical potions and pharmaceutical remedies. The Ainu of Northern Japan placed carved Eagle Owls on houses as protection from famine and disease. Although they revered the Eagle Owl and Screech Owl, who warned against danger, the Barn and Horned Owl were considered demonic.

The Owl was the emblem of a royal clan of Chinese masters of the thunderbolt and was also a symbol of too much Yang.

In the Middle East, a person who nags and complains too much is compared to an owl. There was a belief there that Owls represented the souls of people who died un-avenged.

The hoot of an Owl in Southern India was interpreted by number:

1) Impending death. 2) Success in anything started soon after. 3) A woman marring into the family. 4) A disturbance. 5) Travel. 6) Guests on the way. 7) Mental distress. 8) Sudden death. 9) Good fortune.

In Polish folklore women who die un married turn into Doves and Married women into Owls.

The Ojibwa of North America, along with many other indigenous tribes consider the Owl a guide to the life beyond for the spirit of the dead. The Pawnee people have a beautiful ritual involving the decoration of the ceremonial pipe with Owl feathers based on the following visionary instructions:

“Put me upon the feathered stem, for I have power to help the Children. The night season is mine. I wake when others sleep. I can see in the darkness and discern coming danger. The human race must be able to care for its young during the night. The warrior must be alert and ready to protect his home against prowlers in the dark. I have the power to help the people so that they may not forget their young in sleep. I have power to help the people to be watchful against enemies while darkness is on the earth. I have power to help the people keep awake and perform these ceremonies in the night as well as the day.” (Fletcher, 1900-1901)

Whether perceived as power possessing beings or harbingers of death, Owls, throughout history, wherever they are found, have inspired humans who continue to celebrate their aesthetic beauty, sense of mystery and sharp sensory awareness, much superior to ours.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Relief carved and hand painted 21 x 29 ceramic tile set available to order from
The north wind blasts cold and rude,

boldly bearing down from snow capped peaks,

hurling icy fragments of discontent,

from a host of laden clouds.

The earth sighs a quiet requiem to the impotent sun

and drifts into slumber.

No creature dares wander the hills bleak and drear,

nor linger near the wild swell of the sea,

to be swept away

or pierced by sharp arrows of cold,

hissing through barren boughs


At length, fury spent,

wind, fog and mist gather in retreat,

leaving the pallid moon to luminate,

a frigid blanket of glittering splendor.

Snug in cranny and crevice,

life curls supine,

awaiting the docile Zephyr to return with spring.

~Shannon Gresham~

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Decorative relief carved Celtic dragon ceramic tile set

Relief carved dragon tile set with a Celtic knot border, available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from

Few human beings throughout history have cared to discover any more about dragons than how to av...oid them, or failing that, kill them. Yet humankind was always curious, and dragons eventually became a subject for scholars. Studying them was a daunting task, for the nature of dragons was confusing. The creatures seemed to defy sensible cataloguing and some were a monstrous rebuke to the idea that nature had organization. But later, dragons became somewhat more consistent in behavior and appearance, and various schemes arose for classifying them. In the west, dragons were described more by body type and defined by habitat. In China however, long a center for scholarship, distinguished lines of scholars devoted much systematic attention to the dragons that lived among them. They not only defined what a dragon was, but developed ways for categorizing the age, position in evolution, physical attributes, functions, idiosyncrasies, and where each existed in the hierarchy of the dragon world.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Decorative, custom handmade, Celtic ceramic tile set

~In Memory of the Story Teller, Padraic O’Conaire~

They’ll miss his heavy stick and stride in Wicklow-

His story talking down Wine Tavern street,

where old men sitting in the wizened daylight

have kept an edge upon his gentle wit;

While women on the grassy streets of Galway,

will harken for his passing- but in vain,

shall hardly tell his step as shadows vanish

through archways of forgotten Spain.

Ah, they’ll say; Padric’s gone again exploring;

But now down glens of brightness, O he’ll find

An alehouse overflowing with wise Gaelic,

that’s braced in vigour by the bardic mind,

And there his thoughts shall find his own fore fathers-

In minds to whom our heights of race belong,

In crafty men, who ribbed a ship or turned

the secret joinery of song.

~FR Higgins 1933~

Friday, November 15, 2013

Decorative relief carved half round ceramic dragon tiles

Somewhere in the mountainous region of Snowdonia in Wales lies the remains of the ancient city of Emrys, home of the Druid alchemists known as the Pheryllt. In the Welsh tradition, this city was also known as Dinas Affaraon- ‘City of the higher powers.’ There are many stories and legends surrounding this archaeological site dating back to the Iron age and inhabited during several different time periods after. It was at Emrys, the Mabinogion tells, where Ludd Llaw Eveint, Celtic god of healing and health buried two fighting dragons. Centuries later the famous exchange from the legends of King Arthur between the warlord Vortigern and a youthful Merlin took place there. The story has it that when Vortigern fled into Wales to escape Anglo-Saxon invaders he chose this lofty hill fort as a royal retreat. He began work in earnest on the first of many proposed towers, only to find each day’s labor mysteriously destroyed over night. This continued for some time until Vortigern was advised to seek the help of a young boy born of a virgin mother. The boy they eventually found was Myrddin Emerys (Merlin), who explained that Vortigerns tower could not stand because of two battling dragons trapped in a hidden pool beneath the fort. Merlin then went on to prophesize, that though the white dragon representing the Saxons was winning at present, upon their release from the pool, the red dragon representing Wales would defeat the white, and the British would be driven from Wales. Marlins prophesy eventually came true and it has long been thought by some that the connection of Wales to the red dragon, as depicted on their flag stems from this Arthurian tale.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Handmade relief carved Celtic dragon ceramic tile
Relief carved 6x6 ceramic Celtic dragon tile, available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
Legend has it that Uther, father of King Arther, once had a vision of a flaming dragon. Upon inquiring of his Druids to explain the meaning of this striking vision he was told that seeing such a thing meant he would become a king. Because of this prophesy Uther took the name Pendragon, "Head of the Dragon" and the Dragon became the heraldic symbol and totem beast of the greatest line of British Kings, the Pendragons.
Fire Dragon energy was believed to be connected to leadership, rulership and mastery and the fire dragon still continues to be a symbol of authority and power, as well as vitality, enthusiasm and courage.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic cat tile/plaque

18 x12 ceramic tile set featuring our 14x7 relief carved cat tile, the set or the cat on it's own are available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
Rathcroghan is a complex of archaeological sites in Ireland that were the historical center of many ritual gatherings as well as being an important cemetery location. It’s a very significant site in Irish mythology and has major associations with the feast of Samhain. It was believed that on the last night of October graves would open to allow all manner of both good and destructive spirits to walk the earth. There was much ritual revolving around both the honoring of dead ancestors and protection against malicious spirits.

One of the most unique sites of Rathcroghan is Owenynagat, ‘Cave of cats’, known traditionally as a place of power and a portal to the underworld When Christianity took hold in Ireland it became known as ‘a gateway to hell ‘which had the most pronounced power near Samhain, when the veil between worlds is said to be thin. Legends told that the goddess of the underworld, Morrigan would emerge from the cave every Samhain in a chariot pulled by a one legged chestnut horse along with various other creatures. The name “Cave of Cats’ is thought to come from either the story of magical wildcats that emerged from the cave to attack three Ulster warriors before being tamed by the mythical Irish hero, Chuchulainn; Or from Iruson a Cat king that lived in a cave (possibly Owenynagat) and featured in many Irish fairy tales. Many modern practices and beliefs from folk tradition in Celtic countries still revolve around the significance of the dead or ancestors; and the vast subject of fairy realms and second sight cannot be separated from the worship of the dead.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Relief carved 12x12 ceramic Celtic knot tile, available to order in an assortment of colors from
~the Celts~ by Thomas D'Arcy McGee 1958
Great were their deeds,
their passions and their sports,
with clay and stone
They piled on strath
and shore those mystic forts,
not yet o'er thrown;
On carin crowned hills
they held their council courts;
While youths alone,
with giant dogs explored the elk resorts,
and brought them down.
Of these was Finn, the father of the bard,
whose ancient song
over the clamour of all change is heard,
sweet voiced and strong.
Finn once o'er took Grainia,
the golden haired,
the fleet and young;
From her the lovely and from him the feared,
the primal poet sprung.
Ossian! Two thousand years of mist and change,
surround thy name-
The Fenian heroes now no longer range
the hills of fame-
The very names of Finn and Goll sound strange-
Yet thine the same-
By miscalled lake and desecrated grange-
Remains and shall remain!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Handcrafted relief carved Celtic ceramic tile

Custom tile panels featuring our relief carved thistle, Celtic knot border and Celtic dragon tiles for a antique Scottish fireplace.
~Beside the Fire~ Author Unknown
Where glows the Irish hearth with peat
there lives a subtle spell,
the faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,
the moorland odors tell
of white roads winding to the edge
of bare untamed land
where dry stone wall or ragged hedge
runs wide on either hand.
The cottage lights that lure you in
from rainy western skies;
And by the friendly glow within
of simple talk and wise,
and tales of magic, love or arms
from days when princes met
to listen to the lay that charms
the Connacht peasant yet.
There honor shines through passion dire,
there beauty blends with mirth,
wild hearts ye never did aspire
wholly for things of earth!
Cold, cold this thousand years- yet still
on many a time stained page
you pride, your truth, your dauntless will,
burn on from age to age.
And still around the fires of peat
live on the ancient days;
There still do living lips repeat
the old and deathless lays
And when the wavering wreaths ascend
blue in the evening air
the soul of Ireland seems to bend
above her children there.

Decorative handmade, relief carved Celtic fairy ceramic tile

8x10 relief carved and hand painted ceramic Celtic fairy tile available to order from
~Happy full 'Hunter's' moon~
American Natives named this bright October moon for obvious reasons; The leaves have fallen, the deer are fattened and it's time to begin storing meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September hunters could easily spot animals that came to glean left overs from the fallen grain. With the threat of winter looming close, the hunter's moon was given special honor and historically an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Decorative handmade tile fireplace

A fireplace done in decorative tiles from
Hestia was a Greek goddess of the hearth and home, and as such presided over the cooking of bread and preparation of the family meal. She was also a goddess of the sacrificial flame and the communal cooking of sacrificial meat was another part of her domain. In Greek myth Zeus allowed Hestia to remain an eternal virgin and gave her a place at his Royal hearth.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Decorative relief carved and hand painted Ibis and fish ceramic tile

4x6 relief carved Ibis and fish tile, available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
~ Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!~
As the morning sun brightens the earth and sky
May my soul shine bright with gratitude.
As all the living plants and creatures sing their song of life
May my soul sing the song of my heart gladly
whether in joy or sorrow
As the sun crosses the sky to the west
May I keep the vision of my life before me
having faith it has meaning
As the earth spreads out from the glowing horizon
May my soul expand to embrace it
May I speak the truth of the land
and take responsibility for my life.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Decorative hand crafted, relief carved ceramic sunflower tile

4x4 relief carved and hand painted sunflower tile available to order in a variety of colors from
Originally from Mexico and Peru, evidence suggests, the wild sunflower has been used as food and medicine by Native Americans for at least 8000 years. Cultivation of the sunflower began as early as 2300 BC possibly pre dating the earliest cultivated food in the Americas known as the 'Three sisters', corn, beans and squash. A fine meal for baking and thickening was made from the roasted seeds and balls of sunflower butter, much like peanut butter were a convenient food for travel. The roasted hulls steeped in boiling water produced a coffee like beverage. Dye was extracted from hulls and petals while face paint was made from a mix of dried petals and pollen. The ground seeds also provided oil for cooking and hair treatment. Medicinally the sunflower was used extensively for many maladies including lung issues, wart removal and as a treatment for snake bite and sunstroke. When the sunflower reached Europe it was mainly treated as a curiosity and garden flower. It wasn't considered an edible crop until it made it's way to Russia where it was enthusiastically accepted as an oil source that could be eaten during Lent and Advent without breaking Orthodox Church laws. Hybrid sunflowers now dominate commercial production and unfortunately many of the early open pollinated varieties have been lost and are likely extinct.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Decorative handmade, relief carved ceramic gnome tiles.

Relief carved and hand painted 4x4 ceramic Gnome tiles.
Wheat, along with rice has been a primary source of nourishment for the human race since pre-historic times. The history and evolution of humans and that of wheat are closely related, the ability to sew and reap cereal such as wheat and barley is thought to be one of the main reasons man largely gave up the nomadic life of hunting and gathering to live together in communities. Ancient Egyptians produced the earliest risen loaves of  bread from wheat and yeast, 5000 year old loaves from Egypt have been found in archaeological sites. In 168 BC the Roman Bakers guild was created, due to the great importance of bread to the population Bakers unlike all other craftsmen were recognized as free men instead of slaves. In Turkey where it is speculated wheat originated from, wheat bread is still considered sacred as is wheat itself in parts of China.
Today, close to one third of the worlds population depends on wheat for sustenance.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic windman tile / plaque

15 x 7 3/4, relief carved Wind man tile or wall plaque available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
There's music in my heart all day,

I hear it late and early,

It comes from fields are far away,

The wind that shakes the barley.

Above the uplands drenched with dew

The sky hangs soft and pearly,

An emerald world is listening to

The wind that shakes the barley.

Above the bluest mountain crest

The lark is singing rarely,

It rocks the singer into rest,

The wind that shakes the barley.

Oh, still through summers and through springs

It calls me late and early.

Come home, come home, come home, it sings,

The wind that shakes the barley.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Decorative handmade Celtic ceramic tile set

Custom relief carved Celtic ceramic tile floor set by
~ Northern Autumn~
The wheel has completed another of it's infinite turns.
Waning light and impending darkness in brief equipoise
as the ripe goddess mother passes to crone
and the forest god prepares for death.
Honor the toil of countless ancestors
Honor the fecundity of the earth
Honor the motion of the wheel,
keeping true the balance of growth and decay.
Accept now the soil is dying
warmth is ebbing
cold lies ahead.
Celebrate that the wheel will continue to turn.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

8x8 relief carved Celtic moon woman tile / plaque available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
The full moon closest to the Autumn equinox on September 22 this year in the northern hemisphere is most commonly known as the harvest moon. It's also known as the wine moon, Elk moon and singing moon. For a few days before and after the full harvest moon the moon rise is only 30-35 minutes later rather than the average 50 minutes the rest of the year. Because of this time lag in the northern latitudes it's like having about three days of full moon. These nights of bright moon shine meant that traditionally farmers could continue to harvest late into the night for several nights. Many birds migrate at night and rely on the light of the harvest moon, actually waiting for it's appearance to begin their Autumn journey.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Decorative handmade, relief carved and hand painted ceramic swan tile

12 x12 Relief carved and hand painted ceramic swan tile.
~The Swans of Lir (In a nut shell)~
There once was a king of the Tuatha De Danaan, faery folk of the hollow hills, named Lir who had four lovely children. Well known for their beautiful voices, Lir's brood were loved by all save Aoifa, their hateful stepmother. One morning after much plotting and planning, Aoifa struck each child with a magic wand as they bathed in the lake, turning the children into four white swans. The curse upon them was to remain as swans for nine hundred years until they heard the tolling of a bell and news of a marriage between a prince of the north and princess of the south. They remained able to speak and sing as humans, but they had the heart and soul of wild swans. When nine hundred years had past and Ireland had become Christian, the swans heard the bells of St. Kernoc's church. They went to the church and were given the news of  a marriage between the southern princess and northern prince. The swan children were released from the curse and as the magical swan feathers left them they became human and instantly died of old age... which was a good thing after nine hundred years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Decorative custom ceramic tiles

One of the more unusual custom tile jobs we've had to date, 44 custom carved round sun tiles, 72 of our 3x3 relief carved prairie flowers and 57 plain round tiles all in porcelain with glazed edges and a hole in the middle. These tiles are going to be screwed on individually rather than glued and grouted. I'm very curious as to what the installation is going to look like! I really, really hope they send us a photo!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Decorative relief carved Rattlesnake ceramic tile/plaque

8x8 relief carved and hand painted Santa Catalina Island Rattle Snake.
$5.00 from the sale of each of these tiles sold is donated to The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy
Available to order from
The Snake is one of the most widespread symbols in mythology and has been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to mankind. Historically snakes and serpents have generally represented fertility, transformation and healing along with being potent guardians of sacred places and treasure.
The Hopi people of North America preformed an annual snake dance which included the capture and release of live snakes into the fields as a blessing for good crops. In ancient Crete snakes were worshiped as familiars of the great great goddesses, twining around her staff,  guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration. The oldest known representation of snakes entwined around a rod or branch is that of the Sumerian god Ningizzida, who was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a mans head and came to represent healing and magic. Some suggest the symbol of snakes carved around a staff is an ancient representation of Kundalini. (The mothering intelligence behind Yogic awakening leading to altered states of consciousness) With the staff representing the spine and the snakes being energy flow. The Rainbow snake is a major being in the lore of the Aboriginal people of Australia and in Fiji it was a snake god that ruled the underworld and caused fruit trees to bloom. Due to the fact that snake can't be tamed, they are seen as a symbol of freedom in Hindu tradition. In ancient Egypt the serpent appears from the beginning to the end of their mythology, the earliest records state the Egyptian Cobra, 'crown of Egypt' was patron and protector of the country, all other deities and Pharaohs. Buddha was once sheltered from a tempest by a serpent king and lord Vishnu is said to sleep on the serpent Shesha who floats in the cosmic ocean and holds all the planets on his hoods...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic cat tile/plaque

7x14 half round, relief carved ceramic cat tile/plaque with a notch in the back for hanging.
Available to order in a variety of colors from
Ancient Egyptians placed great value on the domesticated cat, who were important in curtailing the spread of disease and protecting grain stores from rats. Their status has been likened to that of the cow in modern day India and the death of a family cat was cause for great mourning, those who could afford it had them embalmed or buried in one of many cat cemeteries. This is possibly the reason why the cat headed goddess, Bast was one of the most favorite deities of the day. She was the daughter of Ra,  known as a wild goddess who was originally depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness, connected to the sun and later in history a cat headed woman with connections to the moon. To those in her favor she bestowed great blessings, but her wrath if displeased was legendary and to harm a cat, sacred to her, was a great transgression. The worship of Bast, also known as  'The eye of  Ra' was widespread and her cult had a great deal of power. Some Pharaohs even took her name in their king names and her temple in Bubastis, the capital of Egypt for a time, was rivaled in splendor only by the temples of  Ra, her father and Horus, her brother.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic reproduction antique Oriental flower tile

6x6 Oriental art deco antique reproduction relief carved ceramic tile.
Available to order in a variety of colors and finishes from
According to Buddhist legend there is a celestial flower that does not exist in the mundane world called the Udumbara flower. The Udumbara which means 'an auspicious flower from heaven' in Sanskrit, is said to blossom once every 3000 years. It's appearance signifies the arrival of the holy king who turns the wheel, rectifying the Dharma in the world. An ideal king who rules the world with justice rather than force and anyone, regardless of religious (or lack of) affiliations, that practices true compassion towards others will have the opportunity to meet him.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Decorative relief carved Celtic ceramic tile set

Relief carved 4x4 Celtic knot with four custom shaped tiles to make a 6x6 set.
Available to order from
Here is another entry from Uncle David's Big Book of Numbers by David Botton
FOUR is the first square of a prime number and because of its pleasing balance
and stability has represented Justice. (Perhaps that’s why we speak of a
square deal) It was once thought the world was composed of four basic elements;
air, water, fire, and earth. Four is certainly an “earthy” number as
four strong winds blow in four directions from the 
four corners of the earth throughout four seasons.
It requires only four colours to produce a map of the earth wherein no adjacent
countries are the same colour.
Einstein defined time as a fourth dimension, but many more have been postulated since then.
The Bible’s Old Testament tells of;
four rivers of paradise which prefigure the
four gospel writers of the New Testament who are also associated with the
four beasts of Revelations who bid us see the
four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (coming soon, so they say, to a theatre near you).
The Manu Smitri advocates four stages of life for Bhramin men;
student, householder, penitent, renunciant.
The Buddha taught Four Noble Truths which are (to paraphrase); 
Life sucks.
The reason life sucks is because we want stuff.
If we stop wanting stuff life wouldn’t suck so much.
There is an eightfold path that leads to the cessation of wanting stuff.
Some of the most pleasing musical intervals are associated with the ratios of one to four,
as string quartets know, and the Fab Four taught us to love more.
A pair of partners can play a multitude of games with the four suits in a standard
deck of cards or if something more active is desired ...
anyone for doubles tennis?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic wave border tile

2.5 x 8 relief carved and hand painted ceramic wave border tile.
Available to order from
Today is the day of the ancient Roman festival of Volturnalia in celebration of Volturnus.
Originally a tribal river god with Etruscan origins, Volturnus was celebrated by Romans as a
god of fountains and flowing water to whom offerings were given to 'wash away' ones troubles.
Volturnalia was traditionally celebrated with feasting, drinking, and of course, being a Roman festival, games.
~Happy Volturnalia~ 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic Burrowing owl tile / plaque

8 x 8 relief carved and hand painted Burrowing owl tile / plaque. This is the third tile in our endangered species series, $5.00 from every tile sold will be donated to the Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program  Available to order from
The Burrowing Owl, once a common summer resident of the Southern Canadian and Northern American prairies are now rare and endangered in these areas. As their name suggests these diminutive little owls with long legs nest underground, however, not being very capable of digging their own burrows, they must rely on the abandoned holes of of small mammals such as ground squirrels, badgers, prairie dogs and foxes. They are active during the day, hunting their favorite food, grasshoppers and beetles. They also eat rodents, small birds, reptiles and carrion. Modern agricultural practices have severely reduced Burrowing owl habitat as well as introduced pesticides which accumulate in the owls body affecting reproduction. Several education and recovery programs are now in place to reverse the population decline and help establish a self perpetuating well distributed population within their historical range. For more information on the Burrowing owl, recovery programs or to make a donation visit

Sunday, August 4, 2013

6x6 relief carved Celtic Seal tile/plaque
Available from
Seals have a strong and special connection with the human race. It is said some families are descended from the union of humans and seals and no matter how warm the day a person with seal blood running in their veins will leave a damp spot and sea salt crystals upon any rock they sit on. In places where seals are common, such as the Orkney and Shetland Islands and the West coast of Ireland, many tales are told of the creatures who once provided meat, oil, medicine and waterproof clothing to coastal communities. Many of the stories centered on seals helping humans, but by far the most prevalent tale was, and possibly still is, that some seals can turn themselves into humans. In the Faeroe Islands they believed this transformation took place at mid winter, in the Orkneys it was on the seventh day of a nine day period of high tides that occur twice a year in March and August. In the Druid tradition it was known as 'Alban Heruin' the light of the shore and took place at mid summer. The shoreline represents a magical boundary, constantly shifting between this world and the other world of the ocean, seals being of both worlds were believed to be able to emerge from the ocean at special times and become partly human for a while.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic Wild Rose tile/plaque

6x6 relief carved, hand painted ceramic Wild rose tile/plaque.
Available from
~ Rose Beads ~
1/2 pound of fresh Rose petals
1/4 pound of fine salt
1/2 once each
Pound all ingredients in a mortar or grind in a meat or grain grinder (if your petals are dry boil them in a small amount of water first) Shape into balls, slide a thick needle or toothpick through the centers for a hole. They will shrink and dry in a few days and continue to harden with age. When very hard they can be polished with vegetable oil.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Decorative handmade relief carved Celtic eagle ceramic tile

3x11.5 relief carved ceramic Celtic eagle tile done in a (now available again) metallic green art glaze.
Available to order from
Eagles figure prominently in the mythology of almost every Native American tribe and one of the most widespread clan animals. Most cultures consider them medicine birds with impressive magical powers, and they play a major role in the religious ceremonies of many tribes. Among the Pueblo, Eagles are considered one of the six directional guardians associated with upward movement, spirituality and balance. The Zuni carve protective Eagle stone fetishes, assigning them both healing and hunting powers and the Eagle dance is one of the most important traditional dances held by the Hopi and other Pueblo tribes. In some tribal mythology Eagle plays a leadership role, in other legends Eagle serves as a messenger between humans and the creator. The Golden Eagle is particularly associated with warriors and courage in battle. Plains Indian men earned Golden Eagle feathers as war honors. Some North West coast tribes dusted the floor with Eagle down before a Pot latch and other ceremonies as a symbol of peace and hospitality. Being considered such powerful medicine animals there was many restrictions placed on hunting or killing them, eating the meat of an Eagle was forbidden by many tribes. In some Plains Indian tradition feathers could only be acquired by plucking them from a live Eagle, I dare say not an easy task. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Decorative relief carved Celtic triquetra ceramic tile/plaque


8x8 relief carved Celtic trinity or triquetra ceramic tile/plaque.
The belief in three connected worlds or aspects is found throughout the ancient traditions, magic and mythology of cultures world wide. In Celtic tradition the three words consisted of sky, earth and the underworld. Deities related to major celestial cycles and patterns dwelt in the sky world, ssymbolized by the sun, moon and stars. It was considered the highest realm of seer ship in shamanistic magic. The earth, home to humans, animals and other entities including gods and goddesses relating to the forces of nature is the most complicated. With the other two worlds overlapping it, earth contained a measure of all three aspects. The upper zone being connected with forces of weather and bird flight. Human, plant and animal life along with the four directions is contained in the middle zone and was considered the general territory of human consciousness. The lower zone of sacred springs, wells, lakes, caves and burial mounds taps into the underworld. This was the realm of fairies, elder gods and goddesses and the dimension of dark magic relating to the crone or dark goddess. And then there was the underworld, linked harmonically to the stars it's inhabitants were ancestral beings, ex humans and deities along with other entities controlling the mysterious energies of life, death and rebirth.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Handmade decorative carved ceramic wave border tile

2.5 x 8 relief carved ceramic wave border tile.
Rivers, wells, springs and lakes were sacred power sources to the Celts. Such places held not only energy, but were the dwelling place of divine beings giving form and expression to the various geomagnetic and other world  forces interwoven at any specific location. Water worship was often connected to healing and many models of body parts have been found in springs and other ancient Celtic places of worship. In addition to inland water and river goddesses and gods, the Celts had well defined sea deities, many of which also had loosely defined roles as stellar deities. The sea and heavens connection was possibly due to the importance of the stars in navigation for sea-faring peoples along with a deeper significance based on the observation of celestial phenomena which occupied so much of our ancestors religious and magical beliefs and practices. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Decorative relief carved Celtic fairy ceramic tile/plaque

8x10 ceramic relief carved Celtic moon fairy tile/plaque, there is a notch in the back so it can hang on it's own or be permanently installed.

Mist clad in the light of the moon
Star spun seekers - I search for thee!
Faery light - I ask thy boon
Of branch and thorn and Elder tree!
Wood woven creatures, shadow weavers.
River keepers - come to me!
Just beyond reaching,
never in keeping,
spirits of faery - I call to thee!
Wind hewn wildness,
dark and brightness,
spiral enchantments - born of the sky!
Cradle me with elven hands,
abide with me, thy human child!
~W.B. Yeats~

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Decorative handmade relief carved Celtic green man tile/plaque

6x6 relief carved ceramic Celtic green man tile/plaque.
Happy Summer Solstice to the Northern hemisphere
The first day of summer has long been recognized and celebrated by many cultures the world over.
In the Druid tradition it is a time of great magical power and the green man is honored as being at the height of his power before the start of his demise.
The ancient Egyptians built the great pyramids in such a way that the sun on solstice day when viewed by the sphinx, sets precisely between two of the pyramids. Recently the remains of an astronomical observatory in a long buried Maya city were found in Guatemala where all the buildings were designed to align with the sun during the solstices. One of the most famous early 'calendars' Stonehenge in the UK has been associated with summer and winter solstice for around 5,000 years and observers still watch the solstice sun rise over the heel stone just outside the main ring of standing stones. For many ancient populations closely associated with agriculture the summer solstice were more than just magical, it marked a turning point in the growing season and these 'calendars' were very important. Knowing when events were going to happen and being prepared for them was essential to the communities well being.   

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic pair of griffin tiles

 Book matched pair of 4x10 relief carved ceramic griffin tiles guarding the herb garden.
These ones are done in one of my favorite glazes, 'Old copper'.
Depicted as a mix between an eagle and lion, the mythical creature known as a griffin has roots reaching from western Europe to Eastern India and beyond. They are most commonly portrayed as regal and wise beasts commanding respect and spending most of their time seeking out and guarding treasure. In some legends they are known as tricksters, wily masters of riddles and contests of wit.
Because they represent both wisdom and power, griffins became a popular choice as a coat of arms for many families and armies from ancient to medieval times.
 Research suggests that a possible origin for the griffin myth comes from early fossil findings of the 'pentaceratops' dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. These fossils found near gold veins long before people knew of dinosaurs formed the bones of a large, beaked four legged creature...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Decorative relief carved, hand painted ceramic Celtic Fairy tile

8x10 relief carved and hand painted ceramic Celtic Fairy tile/plaque.
Available to order from
'Sidheog' Fairies, Who are they? "Fallen angels who are not good enough to be saved, nor bad enough to be lost" said the peasantry. "The gods of the earth" says the book of Armagh. "The gods of ancient Ireland, Tuatha De Danan" say the Irish antiquarians.  Many poets, and mystic writers from all ages and countries, have declared that fairies are behind the visible. Part of the chains on chains of conscious beings who are not of the heavens, but of the earth with no inherent form, changing according to whim or the mind that sees them.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Decorative handmade, relief carved ceramic Celtic mermaid & seal tile/plaque

8x8 relief carved Celtic Mermaid and Seal ceramic tile/plaque with a notch in the back for hanging.
In days gone by the creatures of the shoreline that breathed air and maintained an attachment to both water and land were considered sons and daughters of the waves whose presence was most often considered a threat to humans. Ancient British fishermen believed the cry of the curlews as they flew up and down the beach warned of shipwreck for those who ventured out. In the North of France, Cormorants hunched on the rocks were said to be waiting for the souls of fishermen. All along the coasts of Europe, shore folk regarded Gulls with awe and superstition. Some shore creatures partaking of both land and sea were considered much more than just harbingers or embodied ghosts. Beings such as Selkies of the Northern coasts of Scotland, Ireland and Iceland who Assume the form of grey seals basking on the rocky shores by day and walk as men and women by night are shrouded in stories of mortal interaction. In the Shetland Islands they were known as the 'Fin Folk', a race of tribes that gardened the sea bottom and had crystal palaces hidden by seaweed, lit by twinkling phosphorus and gilded with northern lights.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Decorative handmade ceramic Celtic horse tile

12 x12 relief carved, custom hand painted, ceramic Celtic tripple horse tile.
There was a time in North American history between manpower and wailing fire engines when sturdy horses got men and gear to the scene of a fire. In 1832 the New York city Mutual Hook and Ladder fire fighting company was short of men to pull the fire wagon due to an outbreak of yellow fever, so they invested in a horse for the job. This met with much criticism from other stations and that first fire horse was insulted and sorely abused. This may have been the end of it, however with the new weighty fire equipment coming out it was clear that more than mere manpower would be needed. Initially the horses were grudgingly accepted, but eventually became much revered and loved members of their fire stations and very popular with the public. Fire horses had to be strong, sturdy and fearless, able to pull heavy equipment up and down hills at breakneck speed and stand calmly as men rushed about and fire raged around them. Horses were carefully evaluated and rigorously trained, with only a handful out of every 100 horses that fit the size and weight requirements making the grade. Over time many stations added horse ambulances to their facilities as well. Fire stations became an efficient team of man, horse and dog. The quintessential fire dogs, Dalmatians, a canine breed with exceptional stamina combined with exceptional loyalty guarded horses and equipment and ran with the team barking to clear the way. A life of pounding the streets took it's toll and the average fire horse was retired from working after only four or five years, often to a milder work hauling milk trucks and the like. In the 1920's new mechanized equipment, cheaper to operate than horses began to replace them, even though at the time it was less reliable than horses and frequently broke down. In 1922 more than 50,000 people gathered to watch Peter, Jim, Tom, Babe and Rusty of the Detroit fire brigade make their last charge to a false alarm before being retired. The last of the fire horses to be replaced, Bill and Doll in Fredricton New Brunswick were retired in 1938.  Firefighter Bill O'Neil who was their caretaker said " I adored them, I never had to touch a whip, They knew what to do and almost where to go. The old fire station just isn't the same without the pair, believe me."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Decorative relief carved Celtic Hounds ceramic tile

6x6 relief carved Celtic Hounds Ceramic tile can be permanently installed or there's a notch in the back so it can easily be hung as artwork on its own.
Available to order from
The life of the early Irish was filled with hunting and fighting, both of which master and hound alike excelled. Rarely parted they fed on the flesh and slept side by side on the skins of wild animals which together they had brought to bay. White seems to have been a favorite color for the Irish wolf hound of the heroic age and it was popular to dye the coats of both hounds and horses blue or leave them white with purple dyed ears. Their gigantic size along with their swiftness and courage brought forth much admiration from everyone who encountered them. In 1571 the Blessed Edmund Champion S.J. in his 'Historie of Ireland' describes the Irish Greyhound, as they were also known, as "higher of bone and limb than a colt" Comparisons were regularly drawn between great Hounds and their masters. It was writen in Camden's 'Brttania' (1594) that " In Ireland animals are smaller than in England except Men and those hunting dogs we call Greyhounds" Another writen account of this nature from 1681 maintains "All the breed of the Country of Ireland save Women and Greyhounds are less than the breed of England." They did impress people and between the 16th and 18th centuries there was a large export of Irish Hounds. The export ban on Wolfhounds in 1652 seemed to be completely ignored and a good sized volume would be needed to relate all the cajoling, threatening and blackmailing correspondence available in connection with the acquisition of them.  Gradually from necessity the large hounds developed into strictly companion animals and became diminished in size. By the mid 19th century people had forgotten what these early hounds had even looked like and were apt to call anything from a Newfoundland to a Great Dane a true Irish Wolfhound. The breed would have undoubtedly been lost if not for an Englishman named Captain George Augustus Graham who took up the breed with much enthusiasm. He not only saved the true Wolfhound from oblivion, but brought them back into the limelight of Dogdom.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Decorative ceramic, handmade, relief carved Celtic Trinity knot tile.

8x8 relief carved ceramic Celtic trinity knot tile/wall plaque
Available to order from
The trituetra or Celtic trinity knot has a myriad of of symbolic meaning all based on the number three. Here is some insight into the number three from 'Uncle Davids Big Book Of Numbers' by David Botton.
"THREE can be the balancing factor that finds the middle ground between two opposites or

it can be the factor that sides with either end and tips the balance in that direction.
Three’s a crowd or three’s company, it depends on which three.
Division or classification into three parts is exceptionally common.
Let’s look at threes as they occur in relation to soul, body, and mind:
Some religions have considered the world divided into three parts; Heaven and the Underworld,
with Earth in between, while others speak of Heaven and Earth with Man in between.
Triadic Godheads were recognized by (among others): Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Hindu and
Norse people, often representing the powers of Creation, Sustenance, and Destruction.
Wiccans sing to the Maid, Mother, Crone,
and the Christians have their mysterious One that is Three.
Christians also celebrate (but of course have no monopoly on) three virtues:
Faith, Hope, and Charity.
Peter denied Christ three times. (Keep the faith Pete.)
In Greek mythology there appear three Fates, three Furies, and three Graces.
Buddhists and Neo-sannyasins give thanks for the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, or,
The Awakened One, the Truth he imparts, and the community that gathers around him.
The Far East has produced three major “atheistic” religions:
Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism,
while the Middle East has given rise to three major monotheistic religions;
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The third eye opens to spiritual awareness.
To sustain our bodies we eat (some of us) three meals a day at morning, noon, and night, and if we
drink too much we may end up “three sheets to the wind”.
In competitions we give special recognition to those who place first, second, and third.
Three goals in a hockey game scores the player a hat-trick, in bowling one can take three tries at
knocking down the pins and it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game.
Soldiers in trenches learned not to light “three on a match” (it gives a sniper time to ready, aim and fire).
A triangular stance as every Aikido knows, is the most stable posture.
A myriad of colours can be created from the three primaries and it takes three notes to make a chord.
We think of time in terms of past, present, and future and our stories usually have a beginning,
middle, and end. Some things that have appeared in our stories and songs in multiples of three
include; Bears, Billy Goats Gruff, Blind Mice, Little Pigs, Little Kittens, Penny Operas, Coins in a
Fountain, Men in a Tub, Ships coming sailing in on Christmas day, and Stooges.
At school, in addition to Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic, we learned (some of us) about:
acids/bases/salts, solids/liquids/gases, animals/vegetables/minerals, the id/ego/super ego, and
three degrees of comparison.
Oaths and many magical incantations are traditionally repeated three times.
By old English custom a couple who have had their names published and read aloud in church for
three consecutive weeks are considered married (but not apparently by the Province of Ontario).
Luck, good and bad, some say, comes in threes, but then again, others say “third time lucky”.
Wishes granted by genies come in threes. (Hint: make the third wish a request for more wishes).
I’ll give you three guesses what my favourite number is. Let’s have three cheers for THREE!"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Decorative hand made relief carved ceramic green man tile

6x6 handmade relief carved green man ceramic tile/plaque
A lovely May day eve here with the wonderful signs of fertility everywhere!
The last day of April is the eve of the ancient fertility festival of Beltane, also known as May Day.
Traditionally associated with the Celtic god of fire, light and sun, Bel or Balor and green man, one of the most powerful fertility symbols in western culture. Rituals revolving around fire played an important role in Beltane celebrations, which like most all spring festivals around the world were enacted to ensure the communities health and fertility for the coming year. It was also a traditional time for 'hand fasting' a vow of partnership which pre dates modern wedding customs but has essentially the same meaning. 
During 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. 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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Decorative hand made relief carved ceramic tile

~Happy Earth Day~
May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Decorative hand made relief carved Frog and fern ceramic tile

6x12 relief carved and hand painted ceramic frog and fern tile/plaque
with a notch in the back for hanging.
The unexpected and tranquil beauty of one's first encounter with wild ferns on a foray into the woods is very memorable to many; crosiers beginning to uncoil from their cinnamon colored woolly casings and the surprise scent of new mown hay.Scientists were mystified by their unusual propagation process until the mid 19th century when the interest in ferns in Britain was reaching mania proportions. While indigenous ferns were available in England , the exotic ferns were more sought after and very expensive due to the cost of transporting them from the tropics. Around this time a physician named John Lindsay found a way to propagate ferns even though niether he nor anyone else at the time understood the process. British  greenhouses were soon able to offer vast numbers of  less expensive tropical ferns. Unfortunately out of the greenhouse these ferns could not survive the noxious fumes of the day being spewed out by city factories. The craze for ferns would most likely have died off at this point if not for Nathaniell Ward, who in a round about way discovered that when the ferns were encased in a glass box they stayed healthy. Ward pursued this idea and invented what he called fern cases, now called Wardian cases which in time led to terrariums. The fern case was just what pollution oppressed Londoners seeking a durable bit of greenery to brighten their lives needed. The boom began in earnest, everyone had to have one. Modest little cases for the poor, elaborate cases that knew no limits, such as miniature Taj Mahals and the like for the rich. At the height of the mania ferns were cherished in every way, besides live ferns, homes were decorated with baskets of cut ferns and there was a thriving trade in pressed ferns, suitably framed to hang on busy Victorian walls. All number of fabrics, rugs, wall coverings and even flatware were adorned in the pattern of fern fronds. About the only place where ferns were not to be found were in the fields and forests which had largely been stripped clean of them to indulge the mania, the mania which in my theory was ended by the emerging popularity of the polka dot.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic Celtic tree tile

Tile installation featuring our 6x6 relief carved Celtic tree tile and 3x3 Celtic heart tiles.
And now for some more tree lore... The Ogham, often called the 'Celtic tree alphabet' consists of twenty five simple strokes centered on or branching off a central line. It is different in origin, but similar in purpose to Nordic Runes. Like Runes the characters were generally either written on staves of wood or inscribed on stones. Most likely pre-Celtic in origin it is considered a powerful language of symbolism, carrying with it some of the very earliest Druid wisdom. The alphabet itself is based on a high Medieval 'Briatharogam' tradition (A two word combination which explains the meanings of the letters of the Ogham alphabet) where each letter of the alphabet bears the name of a tree. It has also been suggested that the ancient Celts used a Lunar calendar of thirteen, twenty-eight day months, each month having the name of a tree and representing one of the consonants of the tree alphabet.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic Art Deco tree tile set

8x8 relief carved Art Deco ceramic tree top tile framed with a 2x8 branch border and 2x2 corner.
The image of the tree of life is a favorite in much mythology, folklore, culture and fiction.
Buddhism has one such story that tells of Sakyamuni's birth and a flash of light that travelled around the world sparking the growth of the tree of perfection- a sacred four-hundred foot high fig tree with glowing fruit and flowers. It is said that Buddha was born, received his enlightenment, preached his first sermon and died beneath the Bodhi tree which protected him for the six years he sat under it attaining enlightenment.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Decorative hand painted ceramic tile floor set
33"x 57" Colorful custom hand painted ceramic tile floor set by Earth Song Tiles.
Color is the one area in daily life where symbolism is most apparent. It has an immediate impact on our emotions, with the power to arouse, sooth, gladden or depress. It makes sense that the effect colors have on the mind is derived from associations with the natural world, though more esoteric explanations have also been suggested as well. The seven colors of the spectrum being linked to the magical number seven and with the number of notes on the musical scale. In brief, red symbolizes the life force, fire, energy and arousal. Blue is the hue of peace and contemplation, symbolizing the sky, infinity, coolness and water. Green, an ambivalent color is associated with sensations, growth, decay and healing. Violet is the most mystical, combining the power of red with the wisdom of blue, used as a focus for meditation to raise the consciousness to higher levels. Yellow, the color of sun, warmth, memory and also humility. At a deeper level color symbolizes an essential quality within life itself, with death most often perceived as either black or white, both having the absence of observable color.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Decorative relief carved ceramic Celtic Eagle tile border

3x11.5 relief carved ceramic Celtic Eagle border tile.
In the middle of the summer, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the mid-northern sky the summer triangle lies across the milky way. In the South seas it's known as the navigators triangle. It's points are the brightest stars of three constellations. At the shortest points of the triangle are Deneb of  the constellation Cygnus (Swan) and Vega of Lyra (lyre). At the long point is Attiar, the brightest star of Aquila (Eagle). In Greek mythology Aquila was the eagle who retrieved the thunderbolts thrown by Zeus. On the eagles neck rest the three bright stars known as Shahin-i-Tarazu, the balance. To the ancients this constellation represented strength, courage, continuity, wisdom and love. Like the Majestic Eagle from which it was named, Aquila became connected to natural justice or Karma and was not only a source of guidance as a compass across land and sea, but also as a symbol through life. It serves to reaffirm our connectedness to the universe, a reminder of the wisdom that may be received by looking with courage, a loving heart and the intent to see.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Decorative ceramic Celtic harp tile

6x6 relief carved ceramic Celtic Harp tile with a notch in the back for hanging.
The harp has a place in the oldest of Irish traditions. Owned by the Dagda, a leader among the divine race of the Tuatha de Danaan, the harps melodies were bound in silence until his call summoned them forth. With it's two secret magical names it was the purveyor of sorrow, gladness and repose.
The harp was not only the principal musical instrument of ancient Ireland, it was their unique instrument which they concentrated virtually all musical ability on. Musical scholars say that due to the exclusive devotion to both playing and composing for the harp, Irish music was prevented from developing and widening. At one time Irish harpists, the best harpists known, were sought after, well payed and highly respected at court. But in the late 17th and early 18th century their prestige declined among the leading families partially due to new trends in music that the traditional Irish harpers were unable and un-inclined to keep up with. In 1792 Dr.Michael Mac Donnell along with Edward Bunting assembled the last Harpists in Belfast, which turned out to be a very small group of impoverished vagrants, to record and thus preserve some of the most distinctive Irish melodies and the last remains of a noble accomplishment.
~The Harp that once through Tara's halls~
The harp that once through Tara's halls,
the soul of music shed,
now hangs as mute on Tara's walls,
as if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days.
So glory's thrill is o'er.
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
now feel that pulse no more.
No more Chiefs and ladies bright,
the harp of Tara swells.
The chord alone that breaks the night,
a tale of ruin tells.
This freedom now so seldom wakes,
the only throb she gives,
is when some heart indignant breaks,
to show that she still lives. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decorative relief carved and hand painted pot of flowers ceramic tile

9x12 relief carved and hand painted ceramic flower pot tile.
Available from
One of the many spring celebrations held around the world is the Hindu festival of Holi, also known as the festival of colors First and foremost it celebrates the beginning of spring, traditionally commemorating the fertile land and hope for a good harvest. It is a time to say goodbye to winter and enjoy the abundant colors of spring in bloom. Celebrated wildly by thousands of Hindus for two days every year beginning on the last full moon day of February/March, it is said to be one of the most exuberant festivals in existence. During this event there are bonfires, dancing, singing and it's customary for people to throw colored powder at one another. No one expects polite behavior during Holi, only copious amounts of fun and joy and color!