Where do we start?: Contact me by email or phone. When I have the specifics of what you are interested in, I will give you a quote. I require 1/2 of that quote in advance to put you on my calendar. I will do a sketch for your approval before beginning painting. The balance of your quote will be due upon receipt of your mural.
Tiles: Included in your quote are my standard tiles. If you would like to use a different tile, the cost will be added to your final bill. Most often I work with matte finish, pre-glazed ceramic or porcelain field tiles. These can vary from smooth to rustic, old world looking tiles. I can recommend a brand and type of tile that has worked well for me in the past or, should you choose a tile that I have not yet worked with, I will need to get a sample tile to test fire in my kiln. If that tile fires well, then we may proceed with the job.
I can paint on most commercial field tile. This eliminates any difference in color or size and creates a uniform look throughout your project. You can then integrate the mural with the tile in the rest of your kitchen or bathroom, etc. Another popular choice is to use a completely different tile or other backsplash material and frame in the mural with a border. This separates the mural that much more from its surroundings and gives it additional impact.
Tiles such as Daltiles can cost as little as $4 a square foot (and work just as well as the more expensive tiles). Other tiles I've used have cost up to $75 a square foot. We can easily find a tile for your taste and budget.
The Process: Please do note that my works are not transfers. You will see many designs on other sites for very little money that have been transferred, not hand painted, onto the tiles. "Sublimation" is one method of transferring images to tile. You will not achieve the look and feel of a hand painted mural with this method.
Beginning with much research, progressing to a sketch which must meet the client's approval, continuing to hand painting the mural onto the tiles and the subsequent firing in a kiln, I pay meticulous attention to every step. The mural may require more firings as well. When I am satisfied, I mark the back of each tile to make it easy to piece back together, and then I pack the mural up. I have never had even one tile compromised in the shipping process.
For more detailed information on the entire process, click on the following links: 1) Research and The Sketch 2) Kiln Firing
Colors, Reference Materials: I am able to match colors, as well as china patterns, wall paper, etc. Often I work from photographs and spend much time at the library researching my subject matter! Photographs are welcome: they are great indicators of what the client is looking for. I specialize in murals and, while I am willing to imitate (though not duplicate) designs I have created in the past, I prefer to make each tile mural a unique work of art.
Safety, Durability: My hand painted tiles are safe for countertops, as the particular glazes I use are lead free. During the firing process, the glazes actually melt into the tile and become equally as hard and impervious. Like any tile, under great duress they can scratch, but this has never been a problem. Simply use a nonabrasive cleaner and subject your tiles only to the normal wear and tear of typical kitchen use. Because they are fired to very high temperatures, the tiles are safe for oven backsplashes and other areas that can get very hot. They may also be installed outdoors. Click on the following link for more information on durability and other qualities of tile: The Practical Virtues of Tile. And for more information on the care of your tiles, go to this link: The Care of Tile.
Timeframe: Depending on how much work I currently have scheduled, your piece can take anywhere from three to six months or more to be completed and mailed off. Please contact me and I will let you know how far out I am. I would love to schedule a tile mural for you.