Anatomy of a custom kitchen design

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Josh knew it was going to be a very unique project and wanted to document it from the beginning to the end.

 

Swirl Vine Full

The Swirl Vine Kitchen

When your kitchen is the center of your home, it's appropriate to have a stunning piece of tile art for your backsplash. The homeowners were inspired by the Tile Mural Kitchen Backsplash that Josh custom-made. They loved the swirls and wanted to simplify the background and accentuate the vines to flow throughout the tiled backsplash.

 

The Layout

It started with a series of drawings to be approved. The homeowners selected 3x8" field tiles in Coco Moon.

Sketch of the mural
drawing of swirl

Josh made strips of wet clay and placed them according to the drawing, making sure everything worked together. To attach the vines, Josh scored and used clay slip and then a wooden tool to burnish each vine to the leather hard clay field tiles. Because the vines are connected through this process to each individual tile, the tiles needed to be separated by cutting the vines from each 3x8" tile to become a single tile again.

 

The tiles were covered for the night to let the clay dry slowly and evenly, periodically being checked on to make sure that all of the vines were properly connecting. Once dried, each tile is numbered on the back with an underglaze pencil and reassembled for Josh to glaze them.

The tiles need to reassembled and glazed one by one. Josh usually glazes the relief part in this case the swirl in Marigold. Then he glazes the background in the Coco Moon. It is important not to go to fast and make sure everything is evenly glazed.

The tiles need to reassembled and glazed one by one. Josh usually glazes the relief part in this case the swirl in Marigold. Then he glazes the background in the Coco Moon. It is important not to go to fast and make sure everything is evenly glazed.

Glazing Mural
Glazing Mural Full Shot

Going into the Kiln

One more night, the tiles go into the kiln and are fired for 24 hours. We fire at cone 05 - 1886 degrees. This is considered low temperature for ceramics. We let the kiln cools down to let the tiles pass through Quartz inversion, which happens at 573 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, quartz crystals rearrange themselves into a slightly different order. A slight and temporary increase in volume occurs at this point. The kiln is cracked open in the 500's and usually by around 300 we open up the kiln top to let it complete cool to take them out of the kiln. Once they are pulled out of the kilns they are reassembled to make sure they all fit together. The magic of the kiln brings smiles and happiness to the studio every time.

Beginning

Middle

Installed

For this section of the mural behind the stove, Josh had to account for the vent and not add the bas-relief section where the vent would be attached to the wall. You can see the gap in the beginning and middle images. The final installation shot shows how it all came together. 

Vine Swirl Full Kitchen

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