For the wall…
Bisque tiles to glazed tiles…
Numbered and coded for installation.
Trunk tiles, leaf tiles positioned on glue sheets…
then, grouted into place.
The Bigleaf Maple welcomes us into our laundry room;
and provides Kirby a favorite place to rest.
My laundry room was a boring place until inspiration hit one night! As if out of nowhere, the idea came to me… why not create a ceramic tile mural of my favorite Bigleaf Maple tree on that wall?
That is exactly what I set about doing. I love working in clay. The tiles for the trunk were created by taking clay slabs outside, flopping them on the tree pictured above, and rolling out the slabs to capture the texture of the actual bark. The clay “bark” was designed into puzzle-like pieces to fashion the tree base. Hefty collections of fallen leaves were placed on other slabs of clay and processed through my slab-roller. Each leaf was then individually hand cut out from the slabs. A collection of about 160 or so clay leaves were made. All the leaf and bark tiles were permitted to dry, then fired, glazed, fired again, and placed in the mural design.
It’s still a work in progress. I’d like to add some more leaves to extend the 3-D nature of the mural… and perhaps a bird in a nest would be nice! What do you think?
BIGLEAF MAPLE – Acer macrophylum
Large, often multi-stemmed, to 35 m tall; young bark green and smooth, older bark gray-brown; ridged and often covered with mosses, lichens, and ferns. Grows in dry to moist sites, often with Douglas-fir. Common to find on sites disturbed by fire, clearing or logging; at low to middle elevations. Prolific winged seed production provides a favorite food for squirrels and birds.
This tree was called the “paddle tree” in many First Nation languages. Maple was used to make paddles.