Green is good

Expanding on colour, I am very intrigued by the calming properties green has. Since one of main aims and ideas is to enhance the mood of the audience: for them to slip into a daydream, choosing the right colours is a necessity.

I initially researched the effects of greens and blues. Green was originally introduced in hospitals to reduce the glare of traditional hospital whites. Also it is a sign of health and wellbeing: Healthy plants always have fresh green leaves.And blue is often associated with calmness, like calm waters in the Mediterranean for instance, and a clear blue sky.

Although I am not designing these tiles for a hospital, I found a very interesting study by the NHS on colour in hospitals.

The information I read can be applicable anywhere, not just in hospitals. Green also provides a high contrast environment, reducing eye fatigue caused by looking at too much red (blood). Perhaps this is why the Royal Infirmary in Cardiff decorated this space pictured above with green tiles.

It also makes red blood splashes ‘less conspicuous”. Overall, the colousr of my tiles are pretty easy on the eye, but still capture the audience’s interest through the optical illusions the tiles make up. Interestingly, the best colour for judging colour is grey, so by slotting in my marbliesed grey tiles,it refocuses one’s attention to the puce, ultramarine, celadon and prussian blue tiles.




Hexagonal mould troubles

I have just about had enough of the plaster room, after making my hexagon mound three times, I was hoping it would be third time lucky: I would successfully take the epoxy resin backed Perspex fronted hexagon out of the second part of my two piece plaster mould.

imageBut this did not happen. It just wouldn’t release, I used compressed air gun, water, I’d even spread a thin layer of engine oil onto the piece prior to moulding. Had it been earlier on I the year, I would have tried casting this complex shape using a different material.. But I have made an executive decision to put this aside and concentrate on making tile with the mounds I already have. I justified it with the fact that I would have to learn to use a new material such as silicon or using a CNC machine; and at the moment my knowledge lies with plaster. Time is of the essence and at this point of the year I need to go with what I know.

IMG_6022On a positive note, if I hadn’t designed this shape, I wouldn’t have had my 3 separate rhombuses as a result of being the shapes pushed out of hexagon during laser cutting. Also, I am very happy with how the tiles I have are looking, so I don’t feel I need another shape in the composition anyway.

Why I picked certain colours for my tile collection

I wanted to create rich colours which all had blue in them as it is a shade I have always favoured to work with. These include pink, green; plus various shades of blue to compliment each other, when it came to making along with Ivory white tiles in between.
I took time to choose the colours because of the significant history behind how they were discovered. The process of making them involved using high fire stains: cobalt blue, crimson red, black and yellow.


I did some experimentation before, mixing different percentages of blue with the other colours, evidenced in my glaze book. I may use the combinations at a later date, but for the degree show, I wanted these particular 4 colours…

Prussian Blue, the colour of blueprints and an antidote to heavy metal poisoning; was appreciated by artists for its prominent colouration, whereas most blues have a green hue to them.It was also used for the Prussian army’s uniform in the 19th century: a colour of power.


Puce was a pink signifying indulgence: one of the last dresses Marie Antionette owned was Puce. Interestingly, it translates to meaning the colour of fleas: when Antionette’s husband, King Louis, saw the dress he remarked that it was of a flea colour “coleur de puce”.

Ultramarine, originally derived from Lapiz Lazuli, was adored by many Renaissance artists for its deep blue pigmentation, at the time it was so valuable (used to depict the robes of Virgin Mary) the blue stain itself was locked away from the artists whilst they were completing the task of a commission painting.

And lastly Celadon, renowned in Ceramic history, a green glaze used to decorate pottery in China, it became very fashionable and spread to other parts of Asia and then Europe. Interestingly, the original celadon wares weren’t even seen until a few decades ago, after archeologists found them hidden away in underneath old Chinese temples.