Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tile Painting for Joppa Flats

This afternoon, I painted a tile for Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Tile Project. Mass Audubon will be decorating the hallways at its Joppa Flats Education Center with ceramic tiles that have been painted by its members and supporters. The tile painting took place at the Pottery Isle Studio in Newburyport. This is a wonderful studio that offers special events, workshops, and “Pottery-to-Go” where you choose a pre-made pottered piece, select your colors (glazes), decorate the piece with your artwork, and return it for professional glazing and firing. What a novel idea!

Once I was settled at the studio, the first thing I needed to do was select artwork to paint on the tile. I flipped through my sketchbook and selected this Chrysanthemum, which I sketched on October 12, 2008.

I was given an unfinished tile to paint (left tile) and a glazed tile that would serve as my palette (right tile).

I had to transfer my Chrysanthemum sketch onto the unfinished tile. I decided to trace my sketch onto the tile to save time and then defined my lines using a Sharpie.

Once my artwork was transferred onto the unfinished tile, I needed to select my colors from an array of glazes.

I decided I wanted a sky blue background so I painted the entire tile with a light blue glaze.

Concerned that the blue would show through the flower colors, I erased some of the glaze off the flower.

I then outlined the petals with a golden yellow glaze.

I began painting the petals in with a light yellow glaze.

I filled in the rest of the flower with golden yellow, russet, and brown glazes.

It will take several days for the tile to be fired and finished.

I will have to wait until Saturday, June 5th to see what my finished tile looks like because that is the day that all of the tiles painted for the Joppa Flats Tile Project will be displayed and made public. I will be sure to update my Blog with photos of my finished tile and the other tiles painted by Mass Audubon members and supporters.

What a fun way to contribute to Mass Audubon’s decorating project! If you are in the area on or after June 5th be sure to stop by the Joppa Flats Education Center to see the Tile Project!


  1. Wow! What a cool idea. I love your tile and blog of the process! There's a fire-your-own place on Great Rd in Acton I've been meaning to visit. Also one in Bar Harbor where I made a tile switchplate for the house in Maine.

  2. Oh vEry Nice! I cant wait to see what it looks like sure to show us!

  3. Please post updates as this progresses, especially when the tiles are displayed so that I can maybe get the aging computer to remember to look at them when I go there during the summer. Neat idea to get artists involved with the bird center.