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The deVOL Journal

Handmade Ceramic Tiles by Floors of Stone

12th April 2016

By Hannah Livesley

Nestled in 12 acres of Leicestershire countryside is Cotes Mill, home to Floors of Stone. A 12th Century water mill, the showroom is located right on the river soar and is surrounded by lush wild meadows, home to a menagerie of animals, from Fallow deer, peacocks and doves to our majestic resident swans. It is here that we have transformed one of the characteristic outbuildings to house our new ceramics studio, where we are busy working on our new venture of hand-crafted ceramic tiles.

Our studio is equipped with two kilns, a potter’s wheel, slab roller and two large rustic work benches running the length of the building either side, as well as an antique wooden cupboard that stores our kiln props and sculpting tools. Soft light streams through the old original windows that overlook the beautiful grounds of Cotes Mill making the perfect creative environment for our studio.

Ed and I are the creators behind every piece. Ed hand throws decorative bowls using the potter’s wheel, while experimenting with different clays and glazes. He is also mastering the art of Belfast sinks for our sister company deVOL kitchens.

I have been lovingly hand crafting our new collection of decorative tiles. Experimenting with different textures and patterns, as well as perfecting the method and art of glazing until each tile is exactly how we envisaged, with a few unexpected but brilliant results along the way! Each design has a story behind it from the initial concept to the magic of taking the finished piece out of the kiln.

Cotes Mill is such a special and unique place you can’t not be full of inspiration!

Art and design has always been a huge part of my life and studies, I started drawing and painting with my Grandmother as I was growing up. I began studying for my Decorative Arts degree at Nottingham Trent University in 2011 and my end of year show was a collection of hand crafted porcelain birds. After graduating I became part of the team at Floors of Stone, where I learned about natural stone flooring and how our tiles work in different interior styles. Now I have the honour of creating unique handmade tiles for our customers.

 

The Process of Each Tile

The clay for each tile is rolled out using the slab roller. I created this design using meadow flowers picked from the grounds of Cotes Mills (wildflowers and foraged flora) which are then imprinted into the clay, using hand rollers. Other designs are created using Victorian printing blocks, which have been found while sourcing antiques for the showroom. Some tiles feature my own designs inspired by the surrounding historic buildings, for such complex patterns, I make my own imprinting tools to create the intricate detail and desired effect.

Our tiles feature a simple white glaze but we are experimenting with a carefully selected palette of complementary colours, which we will begin to introduce in the near future.

Feathertail

Each tile is cut to 10x10cm or 12x12cm which is the perfect size for a splash back, for fireplaces, a mantelpiece or a feature wall in a bathroom or shower …anything you can imagine! (the list is endless).

Whitechapel

Dove House

Cotes Meadow

Teasel

We are so proud to introduce this collection. Individual tiles are available to purchase here at Cotes Mill or to order large quantities please contact myself on hannah@floorsofstone.com. I would love to hear from you and chat through your ideas.

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