Before Stratoz and I started making our own art, we were big fans and collectors of art tile. When we discovered the Handmade Tile Association Guide to Handmade Tile and Mosaic Mosaic Artists, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. A box of the glossy catalogs arrived!
The HTA is based in Minnesota, and many of the artists listed are in the midwest or pacific northwest, so it was cool to help fill out the northeast listings, in the company of two tile makers we love and own work from Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, and the Sligo Creek Tile Company.
Check our gig as the Featured Artists in the January Newsletter.
I featured our house numbers. I braved the learning curve of figuring out how to make an advertisement with photoshop. Part of my planning for the business is getting the point that I can hire other talented folks to do some of the things that take me a long time!
More tile images at my Art Tile Awe Pinterest Board.
Tell me about your favorite tile.
I am grateful for clients who ask for colors in such a vivd and detailed way, and then set me loose to translate this into glass mosaic. Stratoz’s Flickr friend Ghir commissioned a house number for a Christmas gift for her sister. She described the house and her vision:
It is a bluish grey with darker charcoal grey roof, with dark teal and white trim. Inside, they’ve decorated with many items from Alaska trips, so the colors on the outside of their house remind me of weathered totem poles. I was thinking white numbers on a dark teal or teal and blue mixed field, maybe with contrasting details of dull red or yellow for the totem pole idea. . .
This made me think of one of my favorite artists, the Canadian Emily Carr(1871-1945), and some paintings from Emily Carr: An Introduction to her Life and Work by Anne Newlands. Emily Carr made totem poles a central part of her art, and in 1912 visited over 15 coastal First Nations villages in Northern British Columbia, drawing and painting the carvings. The watercolor that I remembered from Newlands’ book was House Post, Tsatsinuchomi, BC, with the weathered blue-green and bits of red. Working on this house number commission was a delight, and several other clients have asked to have those colors in their signs.
Check out Ghir’s Flickr Photos of her 2010 Trip to Alaska for more totem poles.
Order your House Number here at Nutmeg Designs Etsy Shop.
House numbers are a source of reimagining for Stratoz and myself here at Nutmeg Designs. First, Stratoz designs the pattern for each house’s digits. Each configuration of numbers has its own personality, own way of relating number to number. 54s has a great swooping on right and left with the curved 5 and 2, meeting in the middle with the 4 and its cross bar. The client is in Evanston, IL, and his house was painted in “vintage wine” and “pine grove.” These are earthier versions of red and green, and its interesting to see how a shift toward muted tones makes for a still resonant pair of complementary colors. The client said he was drawn to how our numbers often seem to glow(even though light is not actually passing through), and he wished he had another house to commission a sign for. We love to delight our clients!
Stratoz and I feel very blessed when we have the opportunity to create something that will give clients joy every time they come home. Adam in Pittsburgh commissioned this 1441, and we were bowled over by the note he included with his order:
I searched for house numbers on Etsy and your designs were one of the first ones that I found. After looking through pages of other designs, I kept returning to your work! Each of your pieces are wonderfully unique, and imbued with love and care. Every tile is crafted individually. No other artists who are creating house numbers seem to capture so much elegance in a single piece.
Thank you Adam! He said he was “seething with anticipation” and for a moment we had some trepidation about whether we would meet his expectations, and were delighted and relieved when he loved his sign and sent us photos after installing it. We also had a moment of anxiety when we saw the orange ribbon, since we don’t want any wind disaster to befall our clients, but Adam assured us that the ribbon is just for show and there is heavy gauge wire hiding beneath. I love having a client who adds his own orange, since I am a big orange fan(as evidenced by my Orange Tuesday posts and Orange Tuesday Pinterest Board.)
Adam also graciously included a comparison photo of his old address plaque and his new one, and we appreciate the love.
Stratoz has a gift for communicating the essence of an animal, and our latest house number commission had three totems meaningful to the clients: a hippo, a butterfly and a feather. The hippo was the disconcerting one! We’d never looked closely at hippos before. We thought “gray” but there are flashes of pink. What are your totems?
Over at Stratoz: Shipping Animals