Ancient Origins: A California Color Story | Fireclay Tile
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Color Spotlights

Ancient Origins: A California Color Story

By Shannon Malone

Ancient Origins: A California Color Story

Tile colors shown: Frost, Gypsum, Sea Glass, Cyclone and Crater Lake

California is a pretty amazing place, and last week the Fireclay Tile Creative Team was able to experience the golden state in all its glory on our Tile in the Wild Road Trip.  The majority of us "road trippers" have lived in California our entire lives, but somehow have never seen a few of the incredible locations we photographed along the way.  Who knew our love for tile would allow us to explore the place we call home in a completely new way!  As you drive across the state of California there is a continuous shift in climate, foliage, texture, and color that is dramatic and seamless at the same time. We went from the lush, wild coast of Big Sur to the vast desert of Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley.  On our journey back North we experienced a sudden shift from endless flat desert landscapes to vibrant green forests and the snow-capped Sierra mountains.

Coming back home to San Francisco we found ourselves completely inspired by the wild nature of our home state.  With the immensely different landscapes, color palettes and textures fresh in mind, we decided to do a series of California Color Stories inspired by each of the unique locations we visited while on the road.  First up is one of our new favorite California gems–Mono Lake.

Formed at least 760,000 years ago, Mono Lake is nestled deep between the Sierras and Yosemite National State Park.  The shallow lake has no outlet so over time it has enough salt deposits from fresh water streams to make the lakes salinity three times that of the pacific ocean.  The color palette of Mono Lake is muted, dramatic and serene. Inspired by the moon-like aesthetic, we’ve hand-picked some of our favorite tile colors to recreate the dramatic landscape. Despite their ancient inspirations, our blue, green, grey, and white tiles below remain remarkably contemporary.

Tile color shown: Frost

Mono Lake is most known for it’s Tufa’s, which are giant salt and lime formations created when fresh water streams meet the highly alkaline Mono Lake environment.  The soft gray and white hues of the receding lake bed and the unique Tufa formations truly feel other worldly.

Tile color shown: Gypsum

Due to the exceptionally high level of salt in the lake, the shallow water takes on a minty green hue, adding a subtle hint of color to the striking gray environment.  From a distance, the color reminds us of our own mint green tile hue, Sea Glass.

Tile color shown: Sea Glass

High up in the mountains, surrounded by tall snow-capped peaks, Mono Lake has some of the most dramatic lighting we have ever seen.  The deep clouds roll in at a moments notice and the textured sky creates a layered effect of blue, white and gray.  The color combination is highlighted by rays of sun breaking through the clouds and bouncing off the cool minty green water.

Tile color shown: Cyclone

Our tile colors Cyclone, and Crater Lake remind us of the dramatic sky, layered together perfectly.

Tile color shown: Crater Lake

Mono Lake proves there is color inspiration to be found almost anywhere you look.  Keep following along for more inspiring California Color Stories!

Feeling inspired by this California Color Story?  Order free Tile samples now.  Need some help?  Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.