Thursday, March 22, 2007

Interview with a Tilepainter

Self Taught Artist: Dy, congrats on getting a blog up! I feel its important for other ceramic tile artists as well as other self staught artists to know more about who you are and how you got into tile. Can you give us a brief history on your first experience with tile? What got you interested in it?

Dy: I was an apprentice to a semi-famous ceramic sculptress for 8 years, that is how I learned the huge palette of ceramic glaze colors that is in my brain lol. I looked up high in her living room one day and saw a colorful painting, but it was broken! I thought to myself, Ahh, a broken painting, how intriguing,. When she told me it was a tile painting I asked to buy it. She told me it was a gift from her daughter, and gave me the number to call her and ask to have one made. She told me, You have been painting in ceramic glaze for years right? Just make one yourself! Sometimes it amazes me the things I have to be TOLD to do haha, but that is how and when I started painting tile. That was in 1991.

Self Taught Artist: So it was that simple? You just started painting tiles from then on? I see from your website that you have made reliefs and done other works with ceramics other than tile. Is there anything you want to do you haven't done?

Dy: HAHA I didnt mean to make it sound so simple. My very first attempt was almost laughable. I had no idea what sort of tile to buy, so when I found a tile that had a surface glaze that felt just like paper, I bought a whole case. Well, it was still a glaze, and I didnt even know that I couldnt paint glaze on top of already glazed tile, so wow you shouldl have seen THOSE bubbles haha. And every other mistake after that was made, one at a time.
In 26 years I have bearely scratched the surface of what one can do with ceramic glaze. I would love to make planters and right now I am experimenting with mold-making. Oh so many things to try.....

Self Taught Artist: you barely scratched the surface in 26 years? I can't even comprehend that. In your career then, out of the myriad of styles/choices, do you feel you have focused mostly on one genre in order to 'conquer' it? and have you in fact conquered it? What's left on your list of things you must do/try with ceramics

Dy: I love to carve relief tile. But it takes so long to make them one at a time, so I am in the process of learning to make molds and things, ways to make the process faster so I can charge less and make more pieces. Another blogger gave me the idea of a resist method I just started today, using shellac. It is fun and I cant wait to see how it works out. I am carving through the resist to make multiple layers of resist. Wish me luck.

I also want to try sculpture, yard art to be more precise. I have a huge yard and cant plant it all up in flowers, so I want to mix my own creations among the perennials to give it some life. The wonderful lady who is helping me learn how to make molds of my work has created wonderful creatures she "adopts" out to new families. Here is her link:

I want to do more majolica. The colors are brighter and looser, a whole new style for me. I enjoy it but havent had time to explore it as muich as I would like. The red grapes I uploaded is a sample of this technique.
To be continued........

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