Archives for December 2011:
Dec. 10, 2013
Pantone Color of 2014: Radiant Orchid, Image via Pantone
For the color obsessed, December means one thing, the reveal of Pantone’s color of the year! And here it is, drumroll please...the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid! According to the color mavens at Pantone, Radiant Orchid is “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” We are loving the bold choice, and can’t wait to see Radiant Orchid making its mark on the design world in 2014.
Selecting the color of the year is no simple task. Pantone Scours the world for color influences by researching everything from film and art, to popular travel destinations, technology, and current social conditions. After a bi-annual meeting with color representatives from all over the globe, and several debates later, the committee elects a color meant to influence all facets of the design industry.
Pantone Color of 2014: Radiant Orchid, Image via Pantone
This playful purplish-pink will look great paired with its analogous hues, teal and turquoise, and for even more contrast give its complementary color, yellow a whirl! Bright colors can quickly become overhelming in a space, so we suggest incorporating your go-to neutrals when designing with Radiant Orchid.
Our CRUSH Recycled Glass Tile in Gloss Acai
Fireclay has you covered in the tile department! We offer Acai, a similar fuschia inspired hue, in our CRUSH 100% Recycled Glass Tile line. Acai is available in both gloss and matte finishes.
Our CRUSH Recycled Glass Tile in Matte Acai
Dec. 6, 2013
Example of a kitchen backsplash designed by Joshua Mogal of eco+historical. Tile shown is our Debris Series in Sky Blue.
Let's be honest, tile and tile installation can be confusing! We are experts on the subject and even we'll admit it can be a difficult process. For many of you homeowners we know it might be your first time working with tile, and there will probably be a few blank stares along the way when your installer or designer starts talking about thin-sets and bullnose trims. Don’t fret my friend, we are here to help! Team Fireclay put our heads together and created a definitive guide to tile terminology! So study up before tackling your next project, and learn to talk about tile like a pro!
Each week we will be covering a new section of the alphabet. This week we are featuring the A's to the C's!
Absorption – The percentage amount of moisture absorbed by weight.
Abrasion Resistance – The ability of a surface to resist being worn away by rubbing and friction.
Accelerator – A substance which, when added to concrete, mortar, or grout, increases the rate of hydration of the hydraulic cement, shortens the time of setting, or increases the rate of hardening of strength development, or both.
Acid Wash – A treatment applied to the face of a stone to achieve a texture or finish that is distressed. Chemical processes have been replaced by mechanical methods for the texturing of the stone.
Adhesive – Used for bonding tile to a surface.
Arris – An edge or angle where two surfaces meet; for example, moldings and raised edges.
Our Debris Series Clay Body
Back-Buttering – The process of slathering the back of a stone tile with thinset in order to ensure proper mortar coverage. This prevents hollow areas and subsequent future cracking of tiles. Also helpful to ensure a level installation.
Backing – Any material used as a base over which a finished material is to be installed.
Backsplash – The area located between the countertop and upper cabinets.
Battiscopa – The Italian term for a bull nose trim piece.
Blending – The proper positioning of adjacent floor slabs, or tiles, by their predominant color.
Bisque – When you look at a glazed tile from the side you can see 2 layers. The body of the tile, or largest layer, is called the bisque. The top layer is called the glaze.
Body – Term refers to structural portion of a ceramic product and to the material or mixture from which it is made.
Bond – The adherence of one material to another. Effective bonds must be achieved between the mortar and scratch coat, between the tile and mortar, and between the adhesive and backing.
Bond Strength – The force per unit area or length necessary to rupture a bond.
Border – A strip of tile with design, texture or contrasting color that creates a design concept.
Brushed Finish – A finish resulting from treating the stone surface with a coarse wire rotary brush.
Bullnose – A trim tile with a convex radius or finished edge on one side. Used for finishing top of wainscot, turning of an outside corner, or floor base.
Buttering – The spreading of a bond coat to the back of a ceramic tile immediately before the tile is installed.
Example of crazing. Tile shown is our Vitrail Series in Azurine
Caulk – A soft, water resistant plastic material used for sealing joints.
Ceramic Tile – A ceramic surfacing unit, usually relatively thin in relation to facial area, made from clay or a mixture or clay; and other ceramic material, called the body of the tile, having either a "glazed" or "unglazed" face, and fired about red heat in the course of manufacture to a temperature sufficiently high to produce specific physical properties and characteristics.
Clay – An earthy material that is plastic when moist but hard when fired, that is composed mainly of fine particles of hydrous aluminum silicates and other minerals, and that is used for brick, tile, and pottery.
Coefficient of Expansion – The tendency of tile to change in volume during production in response to a change in temperature
Coefficient of Friction (COF) – The slip resistance of a tile.
Colored Grout – Commercially prepared grout consisting of carefully graded aggregate, portland cement, water dispersing agents, plasticizers and color fast pigments.
Crazing – The cracking which occurs in fired glazes or other ceramic coatings due to critical tensile stresses.
Cove – A trim tile with one edge a concave radius. Used to form a junction between the bottom wall course and the floor or to form an inside corner.
Cure – The time period that a tile installation setting material must be undisturbed and allowed to set for it to reach full strength.
To be continued! Tune in next Friday, Dec 13th for the next installment of our Tile Terminology Series...
Dec. 5, 2013
Kitchen designed by Josh Mogal of eco+historical using our Debris Series in Caribbean Blue, Image: Michael Keeny
San Francisco based Designer, Josh Mogal of eco+historical has been a long time customer and friend of Fireclay Tile. His stunning historical kitchen rennovations often feature our tile, and we are honored to be able to partner with a designer who has focused his career on sustainable design. As an eco-technology enthusiast, Mogal was thrilled to hear about our plan to turn recycled CRT glass in to tile, and happily backed our project along with a handful of his clients. We took a minute to chat with Josh about his career, sustainable design, and of course our CRT tile!
Josh Mogal of eco+historical
First of all, thank you for backing our project, we appreciate the support!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the history of eco+historical? How did you get involved with sustainable design?
Josh - I started eco+historical in 2007 after a 15-year career in high tech product marketing. Originally, I chose to get out of tech to seek some life balance–to spend more time with friends and my dog, to cook, and to start a family. After an enjoyable remodel of my Palo Alto home before moving to San Francisco, seeing "An Inconvenient Truth" put the fire in my belly to pursue a new path, making homes that both support a vibrant family and social life and which go easier on the planet.
How did you get involved with sustainable design?
As I looked at all of the new work happening in Green Building, virtually all of it was focused on a modern/contemporary aesthetic–with plenty of glass, metal and concrete, but little warmth and little connection to the past. Having grown up in the Northeast, I had loved the warm and cozy feeling of a colonial farmhouse or cottage and I recognized that many of those details had become timeless while so much architecture from the 1940's on has lost its luster.
I decided to focus on applying new Eco-technologies and materials to rehabs of historic homes, retaining a feel that speaks to the past while upgrading floor plans and technologies to suit contemporary living, eliminating toxins, and minimizing energy and water use. I also felt that my experience with user interface design and usability could be applied to space planning to make for more effective collaborations with architects.
How are you currently attempting to make a mark on design through the use of sustainable materials?
Josh - The hallmark of eco+historical is that all of its projects since 2009, when the US Green Building Council made it possible to certify rehabs in addition to new construction, have been designed to target the LEED Platinum Certification level. To achieve this, I seek out materials and systems in every area to maximize my use of sustainable and non-toxic products.
California, and San Francisco in particular, has been very aggressive about pushing Green Building requirements into the building code. Sustainability is no longer an option - it's a requirement. Moral obligations to the planet aside, it's not just the new law of the land, it makes more and more sense.
San Francisco kitchen designed by Josh Mogal featuring our Debris Series in "Kelp", Image: Michael Keeny
You have used our product several times in your projects, when did you first get turned on to Fireclay Tile? What do you like about our tile?
Josh - From my very first project in San Francisco's Cole Valley in 2008, I've specified Fireclay Tile's Debris Series field tile for not only its Green qualities, but the lovely selection of colors and the great story behind them and your company. I'm not interested in designing homes that are just a set of specs for success. My homes are meant to be homes, they need to exude warmth and feel secure–like they've been there forever and will be there for you when you need some place to come back to.
When I use tile from Fireclay Tile, those tiles weren't made by some nameless mega-corporation across the world - they're made by real people with a passion for what they do and hands-on involvement in the products they make. I look at those tiles and I see Paul and his team. I see them honoring the history of my Victorians. I see home.
I often make my homes a relatively neutral palette for their eventual owner's art, furniture and decor, but I always like to add the Debris Series tile in the kitchen for a splash of warm color. The crackle glazes also add a sense of "historical" to the tile, making them fit even better with my own company's identity.
100% Recycled CRT Glass Tile from our Kickstarter project
You and a few of your clients have backed our Kickstarter project, What sparked your interest in our CRT campaign?
Josh - Of course I'm a Fireclay Superfan, so you didn't have to try too hard to get me interested, but as usual, Paul combined a compelling story with a gorgeous tile. The warm gray Phosphor color was gorgeous and the opportunity to make a bit of a difference in reducing the waste stream played both to my love of a great story, my love of the environment, and my love of gorgeous tile.
How do you plan to use our CRT Glass tile in your future projects?
Josh - While I haven't designated an exact use for the CRT Glass tile in my next couple of projects, I already regularly use Penny Tile in my showers and field tile in my backsplashes. I can easily envision the new CRT Glass tile in both of those applications.
What impact do you hope to have on the future of the design community?
Josh - I don't know that I have great visions for my own impact on the design community, but I do love having the opportunity to leverage products into my work that are not just sustainable but emotional as well. There are plenty of sustainable tiles and concrete mixes and sealants and plumbing systems. But there are few sustainable products that are deeply infused with an emotional quality like Fireclay's Debris and CRT Glass Tile products are.
Where do you see sustainable design going in the future?
Josh - Ideally, it would be great if we could move towards more homes incorporating the concepts behind standards like Passivhaus from Germany. Going beyond LEED to make homes that barely even need heating or cooling, these standards can start to move us towards Net Zero homes that have little burden on our energy infrastructure. It will take a long time, but if we can move building standards to require the use of sustainable materials and Net Zero Energy from the start, then the impact of future growth on the planet and our communities will be immensely reduced.
Where the future lies is in making the leap from sustainability being the lead quality that companies promote to sustainability being an absolute requirement and a given and the product's design and value moving to the forefront.
Today, Fireclay Tile is among a very small group of companies with emotionally-compelling sustainable products. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your support Josh!
If you are interested in learning more about our CRT Glass Tile and are in interested in contributing to the project, check out our Kickstarter Campaign!
Nov. 26, 2013
Image: Malcolm-Fearon Photography, Bliss Images; Color: White Gloss
Herringbone, the beloved pattern named after its resemblance to the skeleton of a herring, is undoubtedly a classic, spanning all the way back to the Roman Empire, where its conception stemmed from the construction of an enormous road system called the Viae Publicae. Standard rectangular bricks were placed in an alternating arrangement, creating a zig zag effect which broke at the point of reversal. With the weight load spread over a larger surface area, the grid of interlocking units made the paving system incredibly strong under compression.
Rather than falling with the Roman Empire, Herringbone resurfaced and became a desired architectural feature during the European Renaissance. Soon after, the pattern gained relevance and became a popular hardwood parquet flooring choice. Herringbone remains popular today and can be achieved in a variety of finish materials.
Color: White Gloss
Despite its historic roots, and classic rectangular shapes, this dynamic and distinctive pattern is still relevant even in today’s most contemporary designs. The pattern lends itself to customization, and with a little creativity, can be transformed into some pretty fun-loving designs. Achieve a Herringbone pattern with our rectangular 2x4 field tile by interlocking each tile at a 45 degree angle. For a custom look try experimenting with different colorways and sizes.
Image: Malcolm-Fearon Photography, Bliss Images; Color: Mica
Who said Herringbone is only appropriate as a flooring option? No one! With its visually striking geometric lines, herringbone has become a unique decorative feature, adding lively dimension to any kitchen backsplash.
Nov. 20, 2013
To show how we produced our 100% CRT Glass Tile featured in our Kickstarter project we have created the ultimte infographic to tell the tale of CRTs tranformation from TV to Tile.
Nov. 11, 2013
Our Kickstarter Video
We are very excited to announce the launch of our Kickstarter project! Our prouct is the first of its kind and we are very proud of what we have created – 100% post consumer CRT Glass Tile. CRT, also known as Cathode Ray Tube glass, was used to make the glass screens in old televisions and computer monitors. CRT has been an e-waste challenge in the recycling community for years. With the rise of LCD and Plasma this e-waste problem is growing at a rapid rate. CRT accounts for over 860 million pounds of e-waste in the US alone and we figured that was a lot of useful glass that we could make into tile.
This used to be your TV or computer; now it's beautiful tile! Color: Phosphor.
In order to make these special tiles, we need unique molds. The funding from this Kickstarter project will be used to purchase high quality molds that will guarantee consistency in the finished product. Each mold costs roughly $20 and an average size project will use around 360 molds, which is why we need every dime of the $10,000 we're trying to raise via Kickstarter.
From monitor to backsplash. Kickstarter backers will be eligible for a Phosphor backsplash for their next installation.
Phosphor CRT Tile 4x4 coasters. A rewards for some lucky Kickstarter backers...
Help us make CRT tile a success by backing our project and sharing with friends. C’mon, let’s make something cool together!
BIG THANK YOU to our local e-cyclers, ECS Refining, for all of our CRT glass!
Check out our infographic that tracks CRT from rise to decline, from waste to tile!
Fireclay Tile infographic of CRT from monitor to tile
Nov. 6, 2013
Here at Fireclay Tile, a surefire way to make our day is hearing from happy customers. This week we got an email from Megan in California who chose a Vitrail Series 3 x 6 in Topaz for the backsplash in her kitchen.
"We were remodelling our kitchen and came across Fireclay tile on a design blog. Looking into them more we appreciated their ethics and that the materials were locally made. We chose our tile and the custom color. As we were nearing the end of the job we realized we didn't have enough tile. I contacted Fireclay tile and fortunately they had made extra. I picked it up and we finished the job. Everyday I see our tile backsplash I love it. It is the signature piece in the kitchen. I couldn't be happier". Megan, CA.
Thanks Megan! We think your project turned out beautifully.
For more design inspiration check out our gallery. If you've got a story or photo you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy tiling!
Oct. 31, 2013
The team here at Fireclay Tile wanted to share some of our finer moments in front of the camera.
Here we capture the team in the heat of a poker battle. Who wins we might ask? One may never know. But we do make great tile.
Charades is a word guessing game and a favorite pastime for children and adults alike. However, in order to play this game and be successful, the team will soon find that tile isn't everything.
Oct. 29, 2013
We are currently shooting our next round of Fireclay TIle Videos! We love video, as it's both a great way for us to highlight who we are as a company and also to educate our customers.
We work with Markwood Films out of Los Angeles, who have shot videos for us and our friends at New Ravenna. Eric, our CEO, also went to high school with Alex from Markwood, so that may have something to do with it! But honestly, they rock and do a great job of showing off the beauty of artisan companies.
Here are some awesome excerpts from Day 1 of filming!
Alex and Kat from Markwood Films getting the team ready
Emily and Mayra getting ready to dance!
Our Founder and Chief Ceramicist, Paul, getting down with Sabrina, Curtis, and Nolan
We can't wait to show you the full videos in another month. In the meantime, check out all the other Fireclay Tile videos on our website.
Oct. 23, 2013
There is a newly completed Moroccan-inspired haven here in San Jose. Brought to you by the creative minds of Jeffrey Gordon Smith Architecture, this private oasis beckons you to simply recline. Whether it is in the peacock mosaic hot tub, warming by the octagon fire pit or napping in the shaded lounge, this backyard transports you through time to a secret Marrakesh garden in Morocco itself. Intrigued? Let’s take the tour from the beginning…
To start, we begin with the design of the mosaic - can you find the peacock?
Once the design is finalized, it's time to color in the lines! Here we see how Jeffrey and his team begin to fill in the white with the chosen color composition. Try our color-it tool to design your own!
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Now the heavy lifting begins with construction underway on the octagon fire pit and curved hot tub.
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
After a few months of labor, the final product is unveiled. This incredible custom project incorporates both handpainted Cuerda Seca tiles - the peacock mosaic, fire pit & Morrocan fountain in the lounge area - and Lapis field tile used in the hot tub.
Photo taken by Jim Everett Photography, courtesy of Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
We are very excited to share this beautiful backyard with you and hope you find inspiration for your next work of art!
Oct. 17, 2013
Casting the Mold: Production of Crush Molds
Q & A with Nolan Johnson – Fireclay Tile's Glass Factory Manager
What’s the overarching approach of the glass factory?
NJ - In the crush factory we are constantly striving towards being a leader in the sustainable tile industry. We use as much recycled material in our glass tile production as possible, in an effort to reduce the amount of waste going to our local landfills.
Fireclay's glass tile is made out of 100% recycled content. What about the molds they're made from? Are they recycled material as well?
NJ - The process begins when we receive recycled window and solar tubing glass from our local vendors. We “crush” that recycled glass into a fine, medium and large frit. The next step is making the tile molds. Our molds are made out of pulverized recycled clay tile and other recycled components mixed together and placed in a casting form. After being in the form for 12 hours, the molds go into the kiln for another 12 hours to cure.
Once the molds have cured, what’s next?
NJ - The molds are brought to the factory floor where they’re filled with glass frit. Color is added to the glass frit by mixing in a powdered pigment to get the desired color. Next up is selecting the size of tile to make. The glass and pigment mixture is then poured into the molds and lightly shaken to create a nice even distribution of material. Once the molds are filled with pigment and glass mixture, it’s time to start loading them on the belt kiln. Each mold runs through the belt kiln for about an hour at 1630 degrees fahrenheit. The tiles are then moved to a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. After cooling, the order is matted or sheeted and ready to ship.
For more information about Crush, download the .pdf of Fireclay's Crush 100% Recycled Glass Tile Brochure.
Oct. 10, 2013
Parquetry, a wood inlay technique dating back to 17th century France, was first introduced at the Palace of Versailles in 1684. Originally, this technique of assembling geometric patterns of wood, was used to replace marble flooring in the palace which was prone to water seepage, resulting in the degradation of subfloor joists.
Palace of Versailles Entry Floor, Photo by: Greg Hume
Over the years Parquetry techniques became more and more elaborate. Craftsmen introduced contrasting wood tones and ornately detailed patterns to highlight their skill in what became a popular technique for furniture as well as flooring.
Parquet Flooring 18th Century, Photo by: Donar Reiskoffer
Parquet as we know it today has become a popular flooring option, especially for those who are looking for a style with vintage appeal or something a little outside of the box. Parquet patterns can be laid in many variations, the only rule is that they retain a rigid geometrical layout.
Wooden Parquet Floor in Library
One of the more popular Parquet patterns is created with rectangular shaped tile, laid in a simple block. Using rectangular tile with even dimensions (i.e. 2x4, 2x6, 2x8) every other block is set at a 90 degree turn (also known as a quarter turn). The resulting effect has a graphic punch that works well in both traditional and contemporary settings.
Fireclay Tile Vitrail Series: Parquet Patterns
Oct. 7, 2013
On Sunday, October 6th, 36 members of the Fireclay Team gathered on a crisp fall morning to race in the San Jose 1/2 Marathon / 5 mile Mini-Marathon. Sporting some fresh new "Tile to the People" athletic shirts, the team was looking smart as we hustled over from the San Jose Showroom to the start line.
Our fearless leader and CEO, Eric Edelson, donned a life-sized tile costume emblazoned with the Fireclay Logo and ran the lion's share of the 13.1 mile race with it on. Pausing only briefly for photos or to jump on stage to rock out with one of the bands scattered throughout course, Eric could be heard shouting words of encouragment to all the runners he passed on his mission to bring tile to the people!
Post-race we reconvened at Fireclay HQ, where we were joined by more of the team, family, and significant others for some delicious BBQ and cold drinks to talk over the race and relax in the sunshine. In spite of the sore muscles we all experienced this morning (I hope I wasn't the only one), sharing food and the feeling of accomplishment crossing the finish line made for a very special day indeed.
Oct. 3, 2013
As the cool night air settles in, all of a sudden we remember that we've been waiting all year for that special moment with friends, family, someone halfway strumming a guitar, that crazy guy who insists on wearing shorts in October, and a nice cold microbrew in our wool wrapped hands (okay maybe it’s not mitten season yet - but we’re thinking about it).
The campfire - a gathering place for memories to be made, friends to share stories and mostly a reason to LIGHT STUFF ON FIRE. For some of us, it’s a simple stack of firewood that was freshly cut last weekend. For others, it’s furniture that's past it’s prime. And for a lucky few... it's driftwood found on the beach.
Vitrail Series: Apricot Honey & Jet Black
Just like our factory kilns, we love the bold contrasts of a fire’s roar. The oranges and yellows, the black burning embers and of course, that coveted blue flame. Why not make a statement with contrasting colors and meandering lines, or make a custom fiery blend of glass tile perfect for a shower pan. No matter your project there is inspiration to be found in the warmth of a flame.
Oct. 1, 2013
Did you know the ogee design can trace its ancestry all the way back to ancient Persia and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great? The design itself stems from the ancient "cyma reversa" which is literally broken up into two Latin terms, cyma (or moulding) and reversa (or returned). Together the word defines a moulding as convex in its upper part and concave in its lower part revealing an S-shaped design. The ogee curve is a counterpart of a "cyma curve" with the main difference being that a cyma has horizontal rather than vertical ends.
Debris Series: Ogee Specialty Field Tile in Rainy Day & Turquoise
Ogee windows and arches, characteristic of European architecture, were first introduced to European cities from the Middle East. The ogee arch and moulding then became a prevalent decorative feature in late Gothic architecture known to the French as "Flamboyant" and to the English as "Decorated" for its rich and elaborate style.
A Gothic ogee-arched portal (1506) of the Peter-Ulrich-Haus in Pirna, Germany. Photographed by: Norbert Kaiser.
From archways and doorways, to windows and mouldings, the ogee design has influenced designers through the ages. Today, we can find ogees in jewlery, fashion, tile mosaics, furniture, interior design, landscape architecture, and wrapping paper! So tip your hats to the ogee - may your shape endure for another 100 centuries!
Debris Series: Ogee Drop Moroccan Pattern in Rainy Day, Tusk & Mint Satin
Courtesy of VIE Magazine & Q Tile
Sep. 26, 2013
Wave: Debris Series shown in Cyclone & Picket: Debris Series shown in Fossil
Fireclay is thrilled to announce the release of two new shapes for fall: Wave & Picket. Shapes that capture the beauty of patterns in everyday life.
Today we turn our attention to Picket, an iconic pattern that we've transformed into a bold, geometric tile shape. Picket, a beautifully articulated design, makes an opulent yet contemporary statement. Picket’s contoured pattern is ideal for floors, walls, fountains and accent features that will enhance any indoor or outdoor setting. Fireclay offers a spectrum of 80 natural, lead-free glazes that include both lively, vibrant tones and subtle, neutral tones in gloss and satin matte finish. Combine Picket with a contrasting grout color for an eye-catching graphic feature installation. Picket is handmade on the Debris Series Recycled Ceramic Tile body in a 3 5/8" x 10.25" tile size and is available for purchase today!
Picket: Debris Series shown in Fossil
Sep. 25, 2013
Picket: Debris Series shown in Fossil and Wave: Debris Series shown in Cyclone (middle) and Sky Blue
Fireclay is thrilled to announce the release of two new shapes for fall: Wave & Picket. Shapes that capture the beauty of patterns in everyday life.
Today we cast the spotlight on Wave, a dynamic new edition to the Fireclay line-up. Looking to the Pacific Ocean for inspiration, we evoke our California coastal roots with this graceful new pattern. Wave floats freely across a horizontal or vertical surface for a calming effect on walls, floors, fountains or accent features on indoor or outdoor applications. Wave’s long, lean, curvilinear design is available in 80 natural, lead-free glazes, with the option to combine hues to create patterns with a splash of color. Available in a gloss finish that sends a swell of color shimmering across its handcrafted surface, or in a more placid, tranquil, satin matte finish. The 2.75" x 12" Wave tile is handmade on the Debris Series Recycled Ceramic Tile body and is available to order today!
Wave: Debris Series shown in Cyclone
Sep. 23, 2013
It's that time of year when the sun starts sinking over the horizon before we're ready to let her go. Days are still warm, but nights have a hint of chill in the air. The boastful cheers of fans fill the open air of local pubs and we begin to long for the sound of crunching leaves and the crackle of a fire. But we still hold on to those last few long days and opportunities to basque in the sun or take one last float down the river. We find ourselves indulgently surrounded by an Indian Summer's fading shades of green and warm hues of yellow.
Debris Series Recycled Tile: Daffodil 4x4 with Moorish Knot Cuerda Seca accents.
We look forward to the beckoning call of crisp fall air and find inspiration in the colors that slip away with summer. We love how warm greens and yellows make even the darkest days bright. Incorporate yellow as a bold accent during the cooler months, or commit year round warmth with a sunny feature installation. When paired with soothing blues or greys, yellow creates a unique point of interest in an otherwise expected color scheme.
So long summer. You will be missed. Until the springtime when we anxiously await your first long days.
Sep. 18, 2013
Feeling the urge to be creative? Looking for some design inspiration? Come by our Boneyard to get started on your next DIY home improvement project.
Tailor made for the bargain hunter and DIYer, Fireclay's Boneyard features overstock and factory seconds at a huge discount from retail. Prices are 70-90% off and range from $10 a box to $10 a sq/ft. Dig around a little and you'll find some unique, beautiful, first quality Fireclay products along with gorgeous decoratives, moldings, and Cuerda Secas.
Here's a couple of gorgeous DIY fireplace surrounds made from the Boneyard:
Don't have a fireplace? Already tiled your kitchen backsplash? Here's a few more Boneyard ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
Grab an empty planter box or flower pot to put a unique mosaic tile spin on.
Tired of the way that old table looks? Why not add some color pop to it? Transform it from boring to a conversation piece.
Looking for a thoughtful, fun, personal gift to give friends? We've got just the right materials for DIY tile trivets (A trivet is an object placed between a serving dish or bowl, and a dining table, to protect the table from heat or water damage - yes, I googled it). Throw 4 rubber feet on the bottom so you don't scratch that beautiful counter and you're in business.
Or how about a set of tile coasters? Come by the Boneyard and buy a few sets of Boneyard Cuerda Seca. Pick up some small rubber feet at your local hardward store to put on the bottom of each coaster (you don't want your thoughtful gift to score your friends favorite coffee table). Sign the bottom and voila! Perfect gifts for those friends that are always throwing dinner parties.
Frame in a mirror with some colorful 2" x 4" pieces or create a fun mosaic design.
Grab some larger tiles to cut and use to create a garden mosaic. Or try the smaller embossed pieces. Boneyard mosaic possibilities are endless!
Sep. 13, 2013
San Jose Mercury News: Home & Garden
Bay Area Tile Company Recycles to Create Innovative Designs
By Kathryn Loosli Pritchett
Here's an excerpt from the incredibly complimentary article posted on 9/5/13:
The recipe: Mix clay and water. Then shape, dry and fire.
Making tile sounds as simple as baking a mud pie. But in the hands of a master, the results are original, sought-after works of art.
Paul Burns, founder and chief ceramicist at the Bay Area's Fireclay Tile ever since the company was launched in 1986, started working in this field at age 10. He spent Saturdays and summers learning the skills from his uncle, Ross Chichester, owner of San Jose's Stonelight Tile. By age 15, clients were asking for Paul to help craft their custom orders.
"I've always liked ... turning raw materials into beautiful things," says Burns, who'd spent some time trying to develop and market men's work pants before settling on tile-making as a career, and starting up Fireclay in San Jose with three partners.
"I was working with fabric, rather than clay, at the time, but I realized it was the process (of creating things) that I liked most of all," he says.
Read the full article here.
Sep. 9, 2013
Martha Stewart’s clearly got a thing for Paul. We get it. Tile is sexy. Handmade tile is particularly sexy. Paul, Fireclay’s founder and chief ceramicist, has just been nominated in the design category of the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. These awards are a tip of the cap to American designers for innovation and excellence in their field. Paul has been a pioneer in the ceramic tile business for 26 years, so let’s help him win this thing! Please visit marthastewart.com/americanmade to cast your vote.
Inside Scoop: you can vote up to six times a day, and there’s nothing stopping you from voting 6x for the same designer. Hey, we didn’t make the rules!
Aug. 11, 2013
100% Recycled and 100% Custom. Crush-It! is your opportunity to turn 80 colors and 11 patterns into your perfect glass tile mosaic. What are you waiting for? Crush-It!
Aug. 2, 2013
We are excited to share the finished photos of a recent project from Debra Nichols Design. This installation of memorial donor tiles can be found at Cal Memorial Stadium on the UC Berkeley campus. The banks of Cal Traditions panels and donor tiles occur between historic arches inside the main concourse. Fireclay Tile was able to provide custom printed donor tiles featuring each donors name on our Debris Series recycled clay body tile.
400 donors attended an event this week where the new donor tile installation was unveiled. Thank you DND for letting Fireclay be part of such a special installation. GO BEARS!
Jul. 12, 2013
Cultivate, the curators of all things kitchen, recently launched a competition, which utalized the Fireclay Tile Color-It tool, to encourage members to tap into their creative genius. On Monday the winners were officially announced. It was a close race, but Lea from Michigan was able to pull ahead of the pack, and take home first prize for her design named "Tranquil Sea."
We spent some time with Lea this week to learn more about what inspired her design. Here is what she had to say:
"The inspiration for my Cuerda Seca design came from the sea. That's exactly why I named it Tranquil Sea, I didn't think any other name could fit it better. I have always been fascinated by the colors the sea holds. One of my favorite quotes is - The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears or the sea." - Isak Dinesen"
As the winner of Cultivate's competition Lea recieves $500 towards her dream tiling project. She gave us a little peek into her vision:
"My dream tiling project is something elegant with a vintage touch for the backsplash in my kitchen. I'm moving into my first home and I'm learning how expensive my design taste really is. Winning this contest has been a blessing to help me complete my new home and make it feel like the space was designed for me. I would like my house to have a "Restoration Hardware" feel with some sophisticated elements inspired by the sea."
We are thrilled to have been involved with this project and look forward to seeing Lea's dream come true.
Jun. 24, 2013
The Runway Collection is perfect for the non conformist, or the traditionalist with a secret wild side. Keep it simple by choosing a neutral color, or add some impact with bold glaze choices and contrasting grout lines.