Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Martha Stewart Etsy Show - April 23, 2012

I had my 15 seconds of fame when I was an audience member at The Martha Stewart Etsy Show a few weeks ago. I received an e-mail invitation a few weeks before the scheduled taping from an Etsy administrator, and of course I said yes, thinking, there's got to be some free advertising here. Well, I sat in the top row on the side where no cameras can not so much on the free TV time....but it was fun and I got to meet some wonderful Etsy sellers.

Every audience member had a photo taken after the taping of the show. Here's mine!
Click here for the link to the photo from The Martha Stewart website.

We were told to arrive at 12:30, and not to be late...but when I showed up at 12:30 there was already a line at least 50 people long, and they had already admitted some into the building. It was a chilly, overcast day, but I made friends with Mary and Mary who were my buddies on line.

Don drove me down and he was in charge of the camera for the day, as I decided I probably wouldn't be taking photos once inside. This is his view from down the block - West 27th street between 7th & 8th.

Hmmmm......guess he's showing how tiny this sign really is.

We never left the studio until 4pm! Don and I decided we need to walk over the the Flat Iron district to find the wonderful pastry shop we discovered last time we were here a few months ago. Well...we couldn't find it but ended up in an excellent macaroon shop.

The excellent macaroon shop is Madeleine Patisserie at 132 West 23rd Street.

Here's a treasury I made of some of the sellers who were at the show.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Kind woman lives here" handmade tile

My customer was kind enough to send a photo showing how she used her custom tile in an address sign, an amazing project!

She cemented the tiles onto a board and grouted with a very dark green grout. Here you can see it before the grout is cleaned completely off the tiles.

Close up of my cat tile, lines filled with grout.

The grout is all cleaned off and the tiles sparkle! What a fantastic project and an attention grabber for anyone who passes the house!

If you'd like to discuss custom tile projects, please visit my Etsy shop or e-mail me at

Thanks for visiting!!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anatomy of a custom tile order

One of my favorite things to do is to work with enthusiastic customers on creating custom tiles for them. A lovely Etsy customer contacted me and asked if I could create a tile of her Etsy avatar which is a variation of a Hobo sign indicating that 'a good woman lives here'. Her project was to make an address sign for her sister, using other mosaic tiles to surround the cat tile. Carving in wax is a bit pricey, so I suggested a carved line that would be filled in with grout to highlight the image. All agreed and the project is a "Go"!

I printed out the image on a sheet of paper, grabbed a freshly made 4x4" tile, and jumped into the making process.

Laying the paper on top of the clay.

Using a pen to trace the design onto the clay surface.

Peeling off the paper to reveal the image on the clay.

Using a stylus to create a line deep enough to hold the grout.

Finished with creating the line. The clay is leatherhard and crumbles as the line is drawn in it. This needs to be cleaned up.

Brushing off all the clay crumbs.

After letting the tile dry a bit more I use a carving tool to smooth the lines a bit. Then I use a sponge to give it a nice clean finish.

Of course, I'd never get anything done without Abbey's help.

Abbey gives the finished tile her stamp of approval. My kitty digs this cat tile!

After the bisque firing the tiles are on the glaze table ready to be glazed. I use slip bottles to glaze the details, as I need to keep the grout lines clear of glaze, so the grout will stick in the lines.

I needed 2 tiles, so I made 3, just to have one to practice on, and just in case.....

I'm using high fire matte glazes, so they won't run into the lines. Now just to keep a steady hand!

This is a maize brown matte glaze. I'm using a cream matte for the other details, and the second tile will have the opposite glazing combination.

Glazing the cream details.

One of the glazed tiles before firing.

Here are the 3 glazed tiles in one of the tile cranks, on their way to the kilns for firing.

The finished tiles. I used a neutral brown grout to fill in the lines of the tile on the right, just so that I could see what it will look like after grouting. The customer will use a dark green grout, and I'm looking forward to seeing her finished project!

Have an idea for a custom tile? Send me a convo through my Etsy shop or email me at

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