Written by Dawn Engel, owner and landscape designer at The Artist's Garden
Ten years ago, I discovered Fireclay Tile in my search for materials to use in a bathroom remodel project. Fireclay Tile’s famous “boneyard” yielded enough gorgeous handmade ceramic tile to enrobe our shower enclosure with the beauty that only a handcrafted product can obtain. I was hooked!
This year, I was a garden creator in the 2010 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. When I began thinking about materials to use for my flooring, my thoughts immediately returned to Fireclay Tile. My garden, entitled “Salvaged Creole Jazz Courtyard” was to be composed entirely of recycled, repurposed, and salvaged materials. Fireclay Tile’s Debris Series line of ceramic tiles--made from recycled materials-- fit the bill perfectly. When Fireclay Tile and its owner Paul said they would sponsor my garden, I was filled with gratitude. This is truly a company that believes in supporting the arts and fills an important place in our community.
The Debris Series comes in many beautiful, luminous glaze colors, and I had a terrible time picking the colors I liked the best! I ended up choosing Evergreen (a deep peacock blue-green) and Limon (a chartreuse). The main flooring material in my garden display was recycled brick, and I loved how these two colors looked juxtaposed to the brick. I decided to create borders of Debris Series ceramic tile set within the brick flooring. The play of color, as well as the contrast of rough brick with the smooth, satin finish of the ceramic tile elevated the garden floor from ho-hum to masterful. One of the garden show judges even said that it was his favorite element in the garden!
In all, my garden won five awards, including a gold medal from the judges, as well as People’s Choice Award. Many of the compliments I received from the show goers were directed at the flooring. Everyone was amazed and impressed that the ceramic tile was made from recycled materials. Fireclay Tile played a huge role in the success of my garden!
Note: This is the 2nd in a Two Part Series on using Fireclay Tile in Landscape Architecture. Please also check out Fireclay Tile for Landscape Architecture - Part 1