True art can be lost in a world of factories and cookie cutters. That’s because art doesn’t come from machines. It needs a human touch – and the care and spirit of the artist who infuses a part of themselves into their work. For a single piece of our tile to be made it must pass through 12 phases of production in our studio – each artist bringing an element of the magic to the ceramics process.
The first step in creating your tile is to transform our proprietary clay formula into long ribbons that form the base of every tile we make. Our tilemaking team cuts all the field tile, shapes, and mosaics from this ribbon, using almost two million pounds of clay a year.
Some of our tile has a more sculptural quality – in which case they require another master’s hand. Our casting team uses molds and presses to add dimensionality, pattern, texture, and even images. This team also handles all of our custom artwork, modeling, and mold making.
A single project can contain a myriad of components – from field, to trim, to decorative pieces. The set up team brings all these pieces in your order together and gets them ready for their glaze application.
Ceramic glazemaking is a delicate balance between art and science. Our glazemakers are true alchemists – with a deep knowledge of how components of the glaze will react to each other in the catalyzing high temperatures of the kilns. This is the team responsible for creating the glaze that reminds you of grandma’s favorite china or that complements your kitchen cabinet color just right.
Applying the glaze onto the tile is a craft unto itself – too much or too little and the color won’t appear as intended. This team understands just how much glaze to apply and the subtle application needed to achieve the beautiful color variations that make our tile so special.
This team has several tricks up their sleeves to create the beautiful layered colors found on our hand painted tile. Wielding brushes, bulbs, and sponges they bring even the tiniest details of your project to life, creating a masterpiece.
Opening the kiln in the morning is like unwrapping a present; it is the moment of transformation where all the work comes to fruition. Firing the kilns is a lengthy process – they are loaded at the end of the day and fire all through the night, reaching close to 2000 degrees. In the morning, we discover all the beautiful shifts in color and tone created by the fluctuations in the temperature throughout the kiln.
Mosaic assembly is like a jigsaw puzzle. This team brings together the different shapes and colors needed to create spectacular patterns and dynamic color stories. With an artistic eye and sharp attention to detail, the colors are arranged to your specifications, in artful blends or specific patterns and designs.
Our innovative showroom displays are constantly changing to reflect our newest releases and the latest updates to our line. The display team creates spectacular concept boards for our partners to help you find the tile you’re dreaming about and to inspire your next project.
When no two tiles are alike, Quality Assurance becomes an interesting challenge. This team of experts examines each tile and the order as a whole, ensuring that all the pieces work together and that the variations and imperfections found in all of our tile are adding to the magic, not detracting from it.
One of our core values is to Cultivate Culture, and the Customer Service team is at the center of our successful relationships with our partners. This team is here for you and your designers to assist with any challenges and questions you may have. They will track your order through the studio and ensure that you have what you need to bring your tile dream to life.
Choosing artisan tile is a tactile experience: the weight of the clay, the luster of the glaze, the texture of every nook and cranny need to be seen and felt to truly be appreciated. In addition to Pratt + Larson tiles, our showroom offers a comprehensive collection of ceramic, glass, metal, porcelain, and stone tile for you to handle, explore, and be inspired by. Whatever your design dreams, our trained experts can help you find just the right tile to bring them to life.
Interested in booking a virtual studio tour?
Our Portland studio is a favorite destination for ceramic lovers interested in learning about our unique tilemaking process. We now offer virtual tours to tile enthusiasts around the globe.
Come experience the magic.