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. 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.
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!
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!
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. 20, 2013
Our friends at Cultivate - an online resource for kitchen inspiration, have launched an exciting competition that's sure to get the creative juices flowing. Cultivate members (don't worry - if you aren't a member its free to join at cultivate.com) can enter to win $500 towards their dream Fireclay Tile backsplash by coloring the best Cuerda Seca design. Visit www.fireclaytile.com/color-it to get started.
May. 31, 2013
Our friends at the Kiwanis Special Games in Cupertino, needed a hand this year trying to solve an age old problem - how to weight down course markers for the events at the XXXV Special Games. We were able to supply 4x4 tile from our Boneyard to help solve the delema. By putting a loose tile in the bottom of each brightly colored bag, Kiwanis was able to map out very clear courses with indistructible course markers.
From Kiwanis -
"Each May about 1,000 severely challenged kids from public and private schools across Santa Clara County are invited to participate in a one day event of physical endeavor and success. This is the one day in the year when these youngsters are special, they are athletes, and at the center of attention through positive achievement. For many of these kids, the Special Games is their favorite day of the year."
The games went off beautifully and we are honored to have been involved. Learn more about the Special Games here.
Apr. 30, 2013
We're SO excited to have just launched our brand new Color-It tool! We have been handmaking Cuerda Seca's at Fireclay for over 15 years. Using techniques that date back to 15th century Spain we are able to produce these beautiful handmade accent pieces. With over 100 patterns and 80 lead free glazes to choose from your options are endless. What are you waiting for? Color-It!
Mar. 11, 2013
Remember that science project in 6th grade where your teacher made you work with classmates to build a safe egg transportation vehicle? You know, the one that was designed to keep a raw egg from cracking when 6th graders launched their eggs, tucked safely in a protective casing, into the great blue yonder. We love our science teachers for making that experience memorable, so much so, that we decided to give it a try ourselves... Fireclay Tile style.
We recently closed both of our factories for an entire day so that management could learn a little something from our production crews. The end result of these exercises proved to be more than inspirational, we were able to re-evaluate some core functions and practices within our production processes, establish greater trust amongst our teams and have a little fun, 6th grade science project style. With Jason Paskus, our Efficiency Manager at the helm, we had both our recycled glass and ceramic tile production crews meet at our ceramic factory in Aromas, CA to tackle three unique projects.
First was the The Tallest Tower project, a seemingly simple competition in office supply tower construction (you know you’ve done it). Given random quantities of the same materials, teams were asked to build a tower as tall as possible. About halfway through construction teams were asked to stop and check out their competition. Upon their return, some teams lost a little steam, some teams snagged ideas and a few teams stole the winning elements of their competitors tower construction methods. When all was said and done (and the tallest tower known) we were able to reflect upon the importance of collaboration, supporting the evident truth that all of us are far stronger than a few of us.
Second up was the packing project. Teams were asked to take on a task that hit close to home, packaging tile for safe shipment. And by shipment we mean dropping packages from 20 feet off the ground! After dividing up packing materials and tile of various shapes and sizes, teams went to work designing the strongest, safest package possible. We saw everything from tiles individually wrapped and cushioned to some of our more standard packing techniques. We were shocked by the results which proved our shipping techniques are spot on. This excites us most because it means not only does our recycled packaging separate us from the masses, so does our minimalistic approach, which helps in saving time and natural resources.
The final exercise allowed our production crew to tag our factories with post-it’s, suggesting improvements to our current production processes. Management was able to walk through the factory and see exactly where pain points in production exist, which helps in prioritizing improvements, ultimately resulting in higher efficiency and a happier production crew.
Fireclay Tile has always been more than tile, it’s people. Our production crews make every order possible. They are the most important asset to our company and the seat of many brilliant ideas. We applaud the work they put in each and everyday and thank them for their dedication to making sure that every order exceeds Fireclay Tile quality standards.