Zelle Glass Studio for laNeva Artisan Tile

Zelle Glass has an incredible history creating commissioned glass sculpture, countertops and gallery pieces.

Peter Zelle is a master of the glassmaking process and the head of a studio with whom we are very proud to partner. We’ve attempted to illustrate the laborious process of making the laNeva GLASS Collection here.  While intriguing, it does not truly convey the time and attention that goes into making every tile.

Read on to learn how each laNeva GLASS tile is produced:

  • The first step is to create a silicon mold in the size of the desired tile.  A mixture of plaster and silica powder is mixed with water until it is a slurry, like pancake mix, and then poured into the silicon mold.
  • When the plaster/silica hardens, the mold is pulled off. Now there is a 4”x4” space where the glass tile forms.
  • Colored glass frit, like coarse sugar, are sprinkled into the plaster/silica mold. This 1/8” layer of color is then covered with chunks of clear glass. These chunks are irregular shapes which create beautiful shadowy lines in the tiles where the chunk edges melt together.
  • Once all the glass is put into molds, they are loaded into the kiln.
  • The tiles are heated slowly over 12 hours to 1250° F and held there for 3 more hours. This allows all the bubbles to reach the surface. Next the kiln is raised to 1550° F and the glass pools and flows like honey.
  • Glass needs to be annealed, or cooled slowly. This relieves any stress in the glass so no cracking will occur. This process takes 12 more hours.
  • Once the tiles are cooled they are removed from the plaster/silica mold. The plaster/silica just breaks apart and is discarded.
  • The second half of the glass tile making process involves grinding the edges of the tiles and then fire polishing them in the kiln.
  • The grinding is done on a water fed flattening wheel with a 200 grit diamond pad. This is a semi coarse grit which will smooth out any imperfections from the mold. Then the tiles are placed back in the kiln at room temperature and heated over 1 hour to 1000° F.
  • Now the fire polishing takes place. The kiln temp is then raised to 1450° F. At that point the edges of the tiles start to round just a bit and the coarse ground areas gloss over and become smooth and shiny.
  • The kiln is then quickly cooled by opening the door a bit until it is back down to 1000° F. The pieces are annealed again over 12 hours.
  • Finally they are removed from the kiln and the back sides are hand painted white to give the brilliant colors a background to glow against.

To learn more about laNeva GLASS options, colors and specs, see the collection on our website and blog launch post.

 

 

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Budget Border Install


It’s always fun to see laNeva Tile living in its new home, with its new family. We recently worked with a homeowner to design a small, rectalinear border (mesh-mounted and interlocking, with a random pattern layout) for a budget bathroom remodel. Measuring a mere 5″ high, this border contains 1×1′s in Lichen, 1×2 in Dune and 1/2 x 6 liners in Café.

 

Don’t let the small size fool you, this border really stands out. Paired with inexpensive white 3×6 subway tile, the border is all the accent needed to create interest and texture in an otherwise neutral bathroom.

Like this project, handmade tile can fit into nearly any budget. The homeowners kept the existing cabinetry and plumbing layout but replaced much of the sheetrock, insulation, tile throughout, countertop (with integral sink) faucets, mirror lighting and paint.

 

Studio Snapshot of Mesh Mounting & Overglazed Edge

And the budget breakdown, you ask? Lets take a look:

(All figures are approximate)

1. Countertop w/ integral sink       $500.00
2.  Subway  tile                                      $ 350.00
3.  laNeva Tile Border                         $800.00
3.  Plumbing fixtures                          $550.00
(toilet, sink faucet, shower faucets)
4.  Floor tile                                            $100.00
5.  Sheet rock/cement board/joint   $400.00
compound/paint/ tape/sealer
6.  Plumbing supplies                          $200.00
7.  Rugs,towels,pictures, etc            $150.00
8.  Miscellaneous                                   $100.00
9.  Labor                                             $ 500.00

The homeowners did much of the labor themselves, but called in the pros for a few technical items. What a great job, and with spending only $4000 total.

laNeva Artisan Tile is a fabulous pairing with natural stone and machine made tile.  We’ll even help you with the design layout, and provide installation drawings. What’s not to love? We make it easy to add some color to your life!

*Install Photography by Reed Osell

 

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Choose Our Limited Edition Colors!

We need your help to vote for our new, Limited Edition “IT” Colors for 2011!

Out of 5 options, please select 3 that will accent our existing solid color glazes for one calendar year. Voting will be open for one week and you’ll be able to vote just once. We’ll release the winners at 5 PM CST on Monday, April 18th and the winning colors will be officially added to our 2011 color offering on May 2nd, 2011.

All winning colors will be available as solid or Rift tiles and can be used by themselves or as a part of our Lineal or Slice Collection mesh-mounted borders or SPAN field tile patterns.

What are you waiting for? Vote for 3!

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SPAN Field Tile Patterns- Squares

Last week we announced our newest collection of field tile patterns called SPAN (to go along with our Lineal & Slice Collections of Borders) and showed you SPAN patterns using laNeva’s rectangular tiles.  Some fun layouts were included with our favorite being the 3 pattern options using our 1×6 liner. Fab-u-lous!

As promised, we are following up with the squares. It’s hip to be square (had to throw that in there!) and we see a huge resurgence in the market for square tiles. So without further delay, we bring to you:

SPAN Collection – Squares

All pattern drawings show one square foot of each layout. For those of you super-savy readers (of which you ALL are!) note that the patterns on the left and right of each tile size are the same with the left shown as a horizontal running bond and the right, vertical.

And a laNeva insider- update for people who read to the end of each post:

Within the coming week, you’ll see a few changes to the laNeva site, with our new collections (including this one) added to the “Our Tiles” tab.  Have questions? Check out the FAQ’s or contact us for more details.  We love to hear from laNeva Tile fans!

XOXOXO,

Want to know more about laNeva’s daily goings-on? Follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook!

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A Year of Thankfulness

Years ago, I found a set of books called “Simple Abundance“.  It is one of those daily inspirational books that gives you a sometimes overly-cheery page to read and ponder every day.  While this sunshine-y book has long since been relegated to a storage box somewhere, the concept, and its accompanying  ”Journal of Gratitude” made a  lasting impression on me.

As we approach yet another Thanksgiving, it is natural to reflect on what this past year has brought to our lives. What things are you expressing gratitude towards? I ask that you start a list, as the Journal of Gratitude suggests, and pay attention.  This can be just a few items per day and start with the easy ones such as health, family, a job, a home.

Better yet, when your Thanksgiving guests arrive, let them know you’ll be asking them to think of an example  for which they are thankful. Provide slips of paper for your guests to write down one item (or more) and then anonymously place these in a bowl to read before you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast.

It’s a simple gesture that will have you all thinking about the richness of good company, abundant food and a thankful spirit. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

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