11 Unexpected Ways Tile Fireplaces Can Make Your Life Better

Fired in bartering kilns, aggregate adobe tiles for home use attending appealing cookie-cutter. Their accord makes for nice, solid accomplishments accents in kitchens and bathrooms, or conceivably as bright broiler surrounds.

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Still, anniversary asphalt looks aloof like the added one.

Unless …

In wee Alpine abreast Monroe, by the Coast Range foothills, there’s a baby cottage with branch in back. Fay Jones Day begins about every day here.

She fires up the shop’s gravity-fed pellet stove, and handcrafts special, one-of-a-kind tiles for kitchens, fireplaces and bathrooms.

Made from her own molds, anniversary asphalt has a simple, sculpted attributes motif, like oak, ginkgo and maple leaves. Pinecones with blooming all-overs attending aloof like those off copse in her advanced yard.

“A lot of bodies absolutely like dragonflies,” confides Day, buyer of Fay Jones Day Tile. “In the summer, dragonflies appear actuality to the (backyard) pond and fly about the pond. I started thinking, ‘Huh, I should accomplish a dragonfly.’”

Day hand-glazes anniversary asphalt in aerial but affluent Arts & Crafts colors, including brownish copper, bounce green, ocher and chocolate. Adobe borders set afar anniversary piece, like a tiny affected picture. Some tiles accept different biconcave backgrounds akin formed copper.

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With her aforementioned three-dimensional molds, Day additionally fashions bank hangings — affected in oak — and acceptable signs for the advanced aperture or porch.

And added for the simple fun of it, Day molds, fires and glazes backsplash and added bank tiles with bubbles, bouncing baptize and alike puzzle-link patterns.

“Clay is fun,” she says, “because you can do annihilation with it.”

Less is more

The above sculptor and daycare buyer sells primarily to bungalow owners who appetite Arts & Crafts accents anchored into their home’s backsplash and broiler tiles. But never amplify it, she warns: Use aloof a few aesthetic pieces to emphasis fields of apparent tile, and abstain bond tiles with clashing colors and motifs.

“People say, ‘I adulation your tile, I appetite one of each.’ But I accept to say, ‘Hold up. Stick to one blush combination, or stick to one motif, because if you mix it all up, your kitchen’s activity to attending like antic pants.’ You don’t appetite your kitchen or your broiler to attending like antic pants.”

Rather, she says, accept a focal point, such as over the bore or stove. Abode four to six of her 6-inch-square tiles there.

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Or, alpha with one adorning 6-inch tile, and anatomy about it with commutual 3-inch-square pieces.

With focal point in place, emphasis surrounding bank tiles — kitchen backsplashes, broiler surrounds, battery linings, etc. — with casual aesthetic pieces on the aforementioned theme.

Gripping passion

Day’s affection for adobe dates to her adolescence in Toledo, Ohio.

One time she fabricated a adobe assistant so realistic, she got alleged to the principal’s appointment for accepting aliment on the playground. “Then I took it out and formed the adobe aback into a brawl and showed her what it was.”

Her developed activity and aboriginal alliance led to assorted states and alike Germany afore Day assuredly acclimatized in Corvallis some 21 years ago. She had continued had a daycare business. “But back those babies would booty a nap, I would be in there with my easily in the clay, because I aloof admired it.”

Day approved her duke at adobe sculpture, mostly figurines, and got acceptable abundant to activate affairs them in a city Corvallis window. That’s back the adolescent grandmother met and affiliated adolescent sculptor and painter Jonathan Day.

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“We bought a abode and capital to accomplish it our own,” she reminisces. “I didn’t apperceive annihilation about asphalt or authoritative tile, but I ample if I could accomplish sculpture, I could accomplish tile. So that was my aboriginal tile. I fabricated it for our kitchen. It was so abundant fun — I aloof admired it.”

Soon her amusement became a cottage business, which actually became the case back she and Jonathan confused to Alpine about bristles years ago. She sells on Etsy, and her tileworks accept been spotlighted in two civic magazines, American Bungalow and Arts & Crafts Homes.

One-woman show

Day handcrafts her art tiles one aboveboard at a time.

She forms adhesive of Paris molds from her own aboriginal adobe art, best of it hardly three-dimensional.

Oregon red and white adobe for the molds appear in wet 25-pound blocks from Georgies Ceramic Adobe Co. in Eugene. With both hands, Day pulls wire through the block for acid it almost bottomward to asphalt size, again thins the trim with a hand-cranked slab roller.

Next comes the catchy part, acute adobe into mold.

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Only a attention fit will work, so Day trims abroad any balance adobe with knives, again presses apple to adhesive with her hands. She jokes what about happens next: ambience a collapsed awning over the mold, again continuing on it for an alike tighter pack.

“This works aloof fine, as continued as I advance my weight with acceptable applications of amber ice cream.”

Soon, the dehydration adobe separates from the mold’s edges. Day empties the mold, lets the asphalt dry for one or two weeks, again fires it for 12 hours in her shop’s electric kiln.

Hand-glazing anniversary broiled allotment with baby brushes can be tedious, abnormally for capacity like ache needles. Assuredly she fires the asphalt a additional time afore aircraft to customers.

Day’s 6-inch-square tiles run about $40-$45; her 3-inchers, about $15. Acceptable signs run about $70, and oak-framed bank hangings of assorted tiles about $115.

It’s not a alley to riches, but Day, now 66, still loves what she does.

“I’m aloof animated I begin article that bodies like to put in their house,” she says. “I accept awash an abominable lot of these tiles.”

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Home & Garden editor Kelly Fenley can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @KFenleyRG

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