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The deVOL Journal

From the studio to the customer

4th May 2018

By Hannah Livesley

Mud is basically what I get to work (play) with every day in the ceramics studio and I often think how crazy it is that, eventually, these little squares of clay will become part of a customer’s home.

In the studio I roll, print, cut and finish our tiles completely by hand. It starts with clay and the one I use is called flecked clay. What makes our clay special is that it contains tiny flecks of iron and when fired, these flecks turn into pretty copper speckles that add a slightly mottled and unique detail to the tile.

I roll out the clay to form a large slab then I apply our beautiful prints using 3D printing blocks. The print is either my own unique design or an antique printing block discovered at vintage fairs.

After hand cutting each tile and a little drying time in the studio, the tiles are then ready to go into the kiln. I apply a simple white glaze to the tiles using the spray gun and then its back into the kiln for a final high fire.

It is so rewarding to think that our customers have become part of the making story and that their specially made handmade tiles mean just as much to them as they do to me.

This comes to light when I receive amazing photographs of our customer’s projects and it is always great to see where and how they have installed their handmade tiles. A few weeks ago I got sent these photos of our Whitechapel and Dove House tiles in a lovely customer’s, Scandi styled bathroom and I’m in love with the results!

Installing a mix of these two patterns creates a wonderfully tactile splashback and I love how it is a small yet effective feature above the sink. It is such a great way of adding something special to an often forgotten room when it comes to decoration and it is a place I feel you can be most daring.

The whole feel of this bathroom is tranquil and a space you know you can relax in. The neutral coloured walls and antique gold accents work perfectly with our tiles and creates a great contrast from something quite contemporary with the sink and tap to the more rustic appearance with the tile’s clear handmade quality.

Looking back at how these tiles started out in the ceramics studio with a block of clay, a few tools and few nervous moments opening the kiln, it really is rewarding to see our tiles finished and installed. I am working on many exciting customer projects at the moment and enjoying the making process all over again. Once completed, I cannot wait to see and share the results!

If you would like further information, please contact myself by email on . I would love to hear from you and chat through your ideas


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