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The deVOL Journal

The new print on the block!

13th April 2017

By Hannah Livesley

Our little ceramics studio at Cotes Mill is always a hive of activity! Each ceramicist has their own expertise and between us we hand make a variety of things, from hand-thrown kitchenware, wobbly ceramic lampshades and a collection of decorative tiles. You’ll definitely find interior inspiration here.

As a close-knit team, we’re constantly discussing techniques, glazes, tools and coming up with ways of improving our production efficiency. It is the perfect environment to develop our ideas and we love to get our customers involved in this process.

A technique I use daily is hand printing. To turn a block of clay into tiles of beautiful patterns I use many different objects, such as foraged meadow flowers, my own handmade tools and old printing blocks found at antique fairs. As our orders can be anything from 6 tiles to 650 these printing tools do get their use!

The antique printing block I use to create our Whitechapel tile was starting to show its wear, so using the skills within our team, a replica pattern was digitally designed and sent to be 3D printed.

3D printing is a super cool way of building a physical form out of tiny layers of your chosen material.

For our new printing block we chose an extremely durable and strong plastic so as to take the impact of daily use.

The finished piece works brilliantly! Using this modern way of creating a 3D pattern has definitely improved my making process and the pattern is effectively printed into the clay, whilst leaving no doubt the tiles have been carefully handcrafted.

The Whitechapel tile has a beautiful textured surface and our customers often mix this design with our Dove House tile. The two tiles together bring a beautifully tactile finish to a wall, creating a feature that I feel, will have longevity in the ever changing interior trends.

We are so excited for what the year brings for our handmade tiles, with more designs and projects on the way! If you are visiting Cotes Mill during the week, you’re welcome to pop round to the ceramics studio and see the team at work.

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