We discovered each other in 1993, and we discovered we could make tile—by combining our talents—soon after.
On a romantic walk in Portland one evening back then, Steve whispered into Jackie's ear, "We could go national with this!"
And we have indeed gone national, with a network of wonderful dealers all across the country, many of whom have been with us since those early days.
Fine Art Tileworks™ officially kicked off in 1995 with the sale of a 6x12 Running Hare, and grew by leaps and bounds while we raced to keep pace with the increasing demand. In 2000 we decided to license out the line to our then-largest distributor. We taught them how to make tile, and they produced our line at their Texas facility on a royalty basis for several years. That arrangement ran its course, and now we are happy to have Fine Art Tileworks back in our hands once again here in Oregon.
Many thanks to all who have helped us along the way—relatives, employees past and present, our dealers, our suppliers, the many generous souls in the tile biz who have shared their knowledge and connections with us, our former licensees, and of course our hundreds of customers who have given us the highest compliment of all by choosing our tile for their homes.
Every tile is handmade from start to finish. Steve sculpts an original, from which a plaster mold is made. Locally made clay is carefully pressed into the mold by hand, then released out of the mold onto catchboards to dry for several days. When bone dry, the fragile "greenware" tile is bisque fired in the kiln, which vitrifies it into hard ceramic. Next the tile is hand glazed to order, with many of our colors requiring skillful "rubbing back" of the glaze just so, Jackie's expertise, to bring out the intricate details...the unique character of each and every tile that makes hand-pressed tile so habit forming. Now a second kiln firing melts the glaze and further strengthens the tile. Finally, we inspect, individually wrap, double box, and ship your made-to-order tile, hoping you'll love it as much as we do.
UPDATE: Fine Art Tileworks has been sold to our trusted, talented Production Manager, Darren Cole-Henry, as of September 1, 2014. The transition should be transparent to dealers and users, as Darren has been in charge of all orders going out anyway. Thanks for everything these past almost 20 years! We expect Darren to re-invigorate Fine Art Tileworks with his abundant positive energy, talent, great customer service, and ambition. Best wishes, Darren!