Archives for October 2013:
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