Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Celebrating 35 years of making beautiful tiles!!

It's hard to believe, but it's true what they say....time flies when you love what you do!! I'm creating a commemorative tile to celebrate our 35 years in business, and I'm using the very first tile I ever carved for the brand new DBA - L'esperance Tile Works, in September of 1979. Here's the process.

My Daylily Tile 4x4 was the first decorative that I carved after the DBA for L'esperance Tile Works was filed, in downtown Troy, NY.

I had the mould pressed into a large slab of clay, and cleaned up the edges. I decided to make the 4x4 into a larger sized tile with lettering and a decorative swirled background.

I created lettering in photoshop and laid the image over the wet clay tile. Then I traced the lettering onto the clay with a ball point pen.

I created a border around the tile for ease in pressing the mould.

Here's the wet clay with the lettering and border images slightly impressed from the pen.

I'm adding a decorative swirl in the background of the commemorative tile.

Here's the finished added additions to the wet clay. I poured a plaster mould on top of this tile, and notated that it is the original carving on the back of the tile....recorded for posterity!

Here's the tile cut around the border and drying.

This tile will be bisqued in the next few days and glazed in a light blue crackle. Then I'll start pressing a limited number of tiles. I'll hand number 1 - 35 on the back of the first 35 pieces, creating a limited edition. I'll also add a gold luster border to make them even more special. Each of my family members will get one, along with a number of very special friends and highly valued customers who have followed us through the years. I'll also save one for a stay tuned for the details before the end of September!

You can find my tiles for sale on etsy here -
You can find my other social networking links here -

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday giveaway to all of my wonderful customers, followers, and friends!

Last Saturday, December 14, I started listing one item in my Etsy shop for $1.00. I have so many wonderful customers, and followers on facebook, twitter (@lesperancetile), and pinterest that I just wanted to take this time to say THANK YOU!!

My first $1 tile was a tile I call an ornament tile, because I've taken one of my little ornaments and pressed it into the center of a tile after I've pressed the clay with a carved decorative motif, an Angel and Star pressed on top of a funky 4x4 called puffballs.

Congrats to Carrie!!

Sunday I had 2 winners (why not?) and they both got the $1 tile that was a reproduction for a home on the west coast that I call Daisy 3x3.
Congrats to Jenn and Kathy!!

Monday's tile is one of my favorites (it's really hard to say that - we love all of our children the same, don't we?), A raised line tile that depicts Horus, who is one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion.

Congrats to Alexis!

Yesterdays tile was one of the oldest in my tile catalogue....and that's saying a lot since I've been making tiles sine 1979!! A Celtic knot design, actually inspired by a book of Celtic images I received as a gift from someone who loved me (sorry, but who could remember who gave them a Dover book 30+ years ago?).

Congratulations, Dyani!

What will I list today? Hey, I'm not even sure yet, but since I think my holiday rush is over, it might be something really special. Follow me on facebook and twitter (@lesperancetile) and be the first to find the $1 item (plus the cost of shipping, which I try to keep as close to the actual price as possible) and it's yours!

Thanks again and again!!
XXLinda @ L'esperancwe TileXX

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Making Holiday ornaments with images from the Dover Victorian Christmas collection.

It's been a while, but I'm happy to announce that I'm an official Dover Crafting Ambassador! Images from Dover books have been inspiring my tile designs for years, and now I'm happy to add a new collection of Christmas ornaments to my Etsy shop, just in time for the holidays.

Teddy bear with clown outfit from the Victorian Christmas collection.

These ornaments were created using images from the Dover Victorian Decorative Christmas Illustrations applied to my handmade ceramic tiles, and here's how I did it.

First I downloaded the collection and chose the images I wanted for my ornaments. Then I used photoshop to create a page of the images for small ornaments and 4x4" trivet tiles. The tiles were first glazed and fired and then a sheet of images was printed on decal paper with a HP laser printer.

The decal sheet is on the left, an array of tiles to be used are laid out on the right.

Cutting the image to be used for an ornament.

Here's the teddy bear.

Laying the cutout paper decal images onto the ornament tiles.

All cut out and ready to soak the decal paper.

After I've laid out all of the selected decals onto the tiles I want the images to be on, it's time to soak off the decals from their paper backing and apply to the tile surfaces.

I place the decal paper into water and soak it for about a minute, or until I can feel the paper backing releasing from the decal.

Releasing the decal from the paper backing.

It slides right off onto the glazed tile.

Here are all the tiles with decals ready to be fired on. They go into the kiln and get fired to 1950• F, fixing them permanently to the surface of the tile.

A selection of finished ornaments, some with raffia for hanging.

Thanks to Dover for inspiring my tile making for years, and for making me an Ambassador. I'll have more tutorials using images from their collections soon!!

For now you can find my decal ornaments, along with a collection of carved ornaments here, in my Etsy shop!

Thanks for listening!!

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