Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SaratogaArtsFest Tile

2010 is the year of the purple ArtsPass Tile! 

SaratogaArtsFest, now in its fourth year, will take place June 10-13 and will once again present a citywide celebration spanning music, dance, visual art, film, theatre, and literary art. The festival will offer some 75 events and activities at venues throughout Saratoga Springs. The full festival schedule and program details are now available at www.SaratogaArtsFest.org.

The concept of using a piece of tile art as the admission pass was conceived the very first year, and the tradition continues. The logo was designed by Christianne L. Smith of  designsmith studio, and I was asked to create the tile, which changes color every year. Linda Schrade, beadkeeper and owner of Saratoga beads, supplies the beads and cord that the tiles are strung on.

You might not think it's a big deal to make such a little tile...but the number of times these tiles get handled add up to a LOT of work! First off, I have to carve the original design in wax, and pour a plaster mould. After the mould dries, a thin slab of clay gets extruded, cut to a manageable size, laid on brown paper on top of plaster boards, and the plaster mould is pressed (with my hand-press) into the wet clay slab multiple times. Then the individual tiles need to be cut apart and allowed to stiffen up a bit. Next, the holes need to be punched at the top of the tile for where the beads will be strung. After the tiles dry they need to have the edges sponged soft. Then they go into the kiln for the first, or bisque, firing. They get laid out on racks for glazing, and  go back into the kiln again for final firing.

Here is a kiln full of the 2010 art pass - in their full purple glory!

I hope you'll join the celebration this year!


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