We've been recreating Victorian and Craftsman style fireplaces for 32 years now, and it is one of my favorite things to do. I thought it would be fun to walk you through the process from start to finish on this project....so here's the start of it!
|Original tiles from fireplace hearth|
It all starts with either an e-mail or phone call from a potential customer, inquiring about the process and costs involved. We need to see the tile in question, to get an idea of complexity of carving and glaze matching. An e-mailed photo is OK, but we really need to have an actual tile in hand to make a good reproduction.
|Close-up of original tile detail|
The original tiles are usually covered in dirt and grime, and have the highest raised details worn off through the glaze and clay surfaces.
I start with a good scrub with a plastic scrubby using just soap and water. If the tiles have been painted or varnished over, I use a wooden rib to scrap those off the surface.
|After cleaning and re-firing the original tile|
After cleaning the tile I re-fire it in the kiln to a very low temperature to burn off the debris that has absorbed into the unglazed clay body of the tile.
|Above - an original tile / Below - an original tile cleaned and re-fried|
Next up - Scanning the tile and reformatting for carving.
Labels: L'esperance Tile, lesperance tile, linda ellett, recreating fireplace tile, replacing old tile, reproducing Victorian fireplace tile, Victorian fireplace