The Rift

#92-Mist/#61-Sky Rift, #84 Siren Solid, #95-Lichen/#68-Twilight Rift

What is the Rift Series and how did it get its name?

The Rift series is laNeva’s signature design that brings two colors of glaze onto one tile for a contemporary-bold or tone-on-tone look. Why is “Rift”, which has usually means “division”, used when we are instead bringing two glazes together rather than pulling them apart?

Our response? There is more than one definition of the word, and we are using it as “A space, an interval”.

The Rift Series Tiles are greater than the sum of its parts. Sure each tile has two glazes, but the magic happens in the center- where the two colors overlap. That is the point of the chemical reaction between the glazes. With some color combinations, this line of delineation becomes a series of beautiful bubbles, in others, it is a third color entirely, in even other color combinations, it is a subtle overlay of one color with a shadow line below. Each combination is completely unique and each tile within that combo has a character all its own.

On a micro scale, our Rift tiles are the grand canyon, with the drama being at the center, with the mountain ranges on each side playing a slightly less dramatic, yet integral role. As such, we are focusing on the drama in center, knowing that it cannot be achieved without the colors on the sides. Thus, the Rift.

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Preserving the Mod in Cape Cod

Nathaniel Swift House photo, Library of Congress

When I think of Cape Cod, a cute little symmetrical home comes to mind.

With it’s rectangular shape and single gable roof, it is a simple, yet effective design intended to withstand the cold Northeastern winters as well as sand and surf.  I was completely floored to learn that the Cape Cod area has a wide variety of modernist structures built generally between the late 1940′s and mid 1960′s.  Turns out many famous architects built their own summer cottages here as well, for example Walter Gropius  and Marcel Breuer designed homes for their families on Cape Cod.

Like many mid-century modern homes, these are in various states of deterioration and a group called the Cape Cod Modern House Trust is working to not only restore these houses, but collect information and document the history of the modern homes on the Cape, something which has never been done.

The /Gips House Vincent Dewitt for The Boston Globe

Kugel/Gips House by Vincent Dewitt for The Boston Globe

The underlying reason for some of this deterioration is an unusual one: Many of these homes have been sitting vacant, owned by the National Seashore. This is not due to lack of interested buyers, but from a government acquisition of the properties to create a state park on the Cape.  This buy-out took place in 1961 but allowed the occupants an option to stay in the house for another 25 years and in some cases, longer. Due to a fortuitous twist of fate, the government did not have the money to raze the houses as was originally planned so they remain, a silent reminder of the modernist history of that area in the last 50 years.  The goal of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust is to “Restore all seven of the Modernist houses owned by the National Seashore and reconfigure them into educational and cultural resources.”

Click here for some amazing photography of these modern homes, linked to the Cubes on Dunes/DWR article referenced below.

Sources and more information:

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Weekend Creativity Challenge #2

Fun with Paper!

Remember how much fun you had as a kid playing with a piece of paper? You don’t have to be a Japanese Origami master to have some fun and create inspiring shapes.  If you can fold a crane, more power to you. If not, try a paper airplane or a hat.  It’s probably been a few years since you’ve done that. How about channeling your inner child a bit further and creating a football, fortune teller, paper chain or string of paper dolls?  The possibilities are endless! What can you do with a simple sheet of paper this weekend? (Spitballs don’t count!)

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Contest: Rejuvenate Your Space with laNeva Artisan Tile!

What You Win: A Custom Design and Tile Package worth $525!

1.) Free 1/2 hour personalized tile design consultation with  top interior designer Lisa La Nasa, owner and designer of laNeva Tile,  via phone to determine the perfect way to Rejuvenate your Space!  Whether it’s a kitchen backsplash, bathroom wall, fireplace, table top, picture frame or artwork piece.  LaNeva Tile can be used nearly anywhere!!

2.) Up to 3 personalized design drawings based on your measurements and our one-on-one consultation delivered to you via email. (Consult and drawings $150 value)

PLUS:  (The BIG Prize!) 4 square feet of LaNeva tile’s luxurious handmade ceramic  tile made especially for your project, including free shipping. (Tile and shipping $375 value)

How to Win:

Write a few sentences about your biggest reasons for hiring OR not hiring an interior Designer to plan your home improvement or office renovation project.  Are you still in the planning stages? If you’ve completed the project, were you happy with the results?  What would you do differently?

Post this to your website, facebook page, and/or twitter account with a link back to blog.lanevatile.com and also email it to [email protected]. Or if you don’t have a blog, FB page or twitter, you can just email it to [email protected].

1 winner will be selected at random at 5 pm EDT on Wednesday April 28th and will be contacted via email.

Best of luck to everybody!!

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Why Only 12 Colors??

laNeva Tile offers a limited color line by design.      

We have chosen the best 12 lead-free glazes available for our 2010 color line and we have no immediate plans to add to those colors (well, possibly a few new things for 2011!)

Why only 12, you ask? Well, the answers are quite simple, but I shall give you the long(er) version:

  1. We want to keep it easy. It is easy for us to provide samples, easier for designers or homeowners to store samples, easier to order and ship our samples, and just plain easier all around to have a small color line.  Everybody likes “easy”, don’t you?
  2. We can’t be everything to everyone, but we do what we do well.
  3. Even with 12 colors, we have a possible 132 different Rift Series color combinations (using those 12 solid colors) and an unlimited range of size, solid color and Rift Series combinations.  Don’t you think “unlimited” is enough??
  4. Sometimes as a designer it is exhausting to sort through the ordinary, crap products to find the gems.  Look at it this way:  We’ve done the sorting for you.

Order a laNeva Tile full-line sample pack for yourself, or watch for our upcoming giveaways on Facebook and Twitter to win one (containing 2″x 2″ samples of laNeva’s 12 solid colors and 4 Rift Series teasers).  Then you, too will be a part of the coolest new thing in handmade tile!

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So Simple, So Mondrian

What is not to love? Piet Mondrian: A Dutch painter, part of the DeStijl movement who worked in rectilinear color blocks… and whose work is so beautifully translated into tile. Take the following Piet Mondrian painting for example:

Using laNeva tile, we could create something like this conceptual tile design:

We used Siren #84, Twilight #68, Butter#73, Steel #24 and Snow #31, all in our standard sizes of 4×4, 2×2, 1×2 and 1×6. A decent interpretation, huh?

If you want to read more about Piet Mondrian and the De Stijl movement in the Netherlands, or related artists, please see today’s amusing article in the UK Telegraph or the exhibition information for Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde at the Tate Modern in London running now through May 16, 2010.

January 2011 update: We are happy to announce that laNeva’s interpretation of Mondrian’s painting is now available using our handmade tile. Please take a look at our Lineal Collection Border  ”Composition Six”, available as a border pattern or a mesh mounted panel suitable for tiling or grouting/framing. Shown here with dark gray grout. Please contact us for pricing & purchasing  information.

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Lisa La Nasa in ‘Kitchen and Bath Ideas’ Mag

So you now know about laNeva Tile. So, what’s with this designer behind laNeva?

Well, here is a little more, including the cover story from the September/October 2009 issue of Kitchen and Bath Ideas Magazine, featuring interior designer Lisa La Nasa.  A fun project, a beautiful result and a very happy homeowner. Click on the images for a closer look:

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Eshelman Handmade Pottery

One of my first exposures to handmade pottery was high school ceramics class. I made a few interesting pieces through both handbuilding and wheel work. Through that process, I learned how difficult it can be to get a consistent result through working clay by hand.

I was in awe when in 2001, I met Paul Eshelman of Eshelman Pottery at the American Craft Council Show held every spring in St. Paul. Eshelman Pottery is functional handmade red clay stoneware with a very clean-lined, Asian-inspired aesthetic.  I purchased a few mugs that day when I met Paul, then purchased a few more, and eventually a creamer/sugar set. I have kept track of  Paul for years, as he is in MN frequently,  and love both the consistency and  the warmth of his pieces. Only after following Eshelman Pottery for a while and learning more about potters techniques, did I learn that the consistency of Eshelman Pottery is due to a form of handbuilding called slip-casting. Slip-casting  is where a liquid clay mixture is poured into a plaster mold and formed. There is still plenty of detailed handwork to be done after the piece is removed from the mold, though, and like all handmade ceramic work, it is a long process.

Just today I was looking through a trade website and I see Paul Eshelman featured on the cover of a studio materials magazine. As I dig further, I learn that Paul was also featured in the Ceramics Monthly June/July/August 2009 issue. Great to see all of your exposure Paul!  I love Eshelman Pottery!

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How I love thee, Schluter Strips!

Schluter strips, a long staple of the commercial floor covering world, are making their way into contemporary residential tile installations.  I am elated!  These little pieces of German engineering are a great accent to floors and walls, in both functional and decorative tile applications.  I used them a few years ago in a custom tile design and couldn’t have been happier with the final result. Alongside all of the mosaic stripes, as well as along each vertical 90 degree angle, we have a small aluminum Schluter strip, in profiles “Deco” along the mosaic stripes and “Jolly” as an edge finishing profile.

While they add complexity to the installation, this was not a simple design from the start. These little strips of metallic glory are the perfect accent to create a very unique contemporary tile project.

You can find more info at www.schluter.com.

While the small mosaic tiles shown here are glass, this design would be fabulous with laNeva’s 1×1′s or 1×2′s. Order them mesh mounted and have your installer cut into 1″ wide strips.  It’s easier than installing them one by one!

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