Custom Design Process

Custom work is our specialty. Whether you have a clear idea in mind or want to give us complete artistic license, we work closely with our clients throughout the design process to bring your vision to life.
Discussion With Client1

Discussion With Client

Initial meeting is set up at our studio in downtown Tucson or at the installation site. We will figure out the basics of your installation needs such as size, color palette, imagery and time frames.

Initial Sketches

Once a theme and size is determined we will send a number of sketches to the client for review. Sketches are rendered in pencil by hand and do not include color. We will send out a variety of sketches and revisions until the design is finalized and accepted by the client. At this point if a color scheme was not previously discussed, the client can pick colors from our palette in our shop.

Initial Sketches2
Final Drawing3

Final Drawing

The outline of the approved sketch is then hand drawn onto a blank pre-fired red tile base using the “Cuerda Seca” technique. With this technique the outline is drawn on with wax and allowed to cure onto the tile base. This outline will serve as a barrier to keep glazes separate when the mural is ready to be painted.

Hand Glazing the Tile

Once the wax outline has cured, the glazes are pooled in between the lines of wax onto the surface of the blank tile. While the wax acts as a resist to separate the colors, a certain degree of blending and shadowing can be implemented if the design and color palette permit.

Hand Glazing the Tile4
Firing5

Firing

Once the glazes have been allowed to dry for at least 24 hours the mural is put into our kilns. We fire at over 1850 degrees, during this process the silica in the glazes fuse to the tile creating an impermeable glass surface. Once colors reach their maturity level the kiln is brought back down to room temperature for unloading. The firing process takes anywhere from 15-24 and often produces somewhat unpredictable and unique results.

Installation

Ready to hang murals will be set & grouted in our shop into one of our custom welded metal frames. For murals that are to be installed directly into a custom project, each tile will be packaged and labeled with a coordinating diagram for easy installation. While we do not provide on site installation services we can refer clients to one of our trusted installers if they do not already have their own.

Installation6