When you want your home decor to stand out from other people’s, you need to have an edge over their ideas. Anyone can install a stainless steel kitchen or have their floors beautifully polished but not everyone comes up with brilliant ideas for personalization.
That’s where ceramic tile murals come in. They’re not only gorgeous to look at but they speak volumes about the kind of attention to detail you enjoy. Commissioning an artisan to create an individual work of art for you says that you have discerning taste and enjoy quality. Ceramic tile murals take pride of place in bathrooms, kitchens, courtyards and swimming pools.
What’s the process?
Firstly, you need to scout around to find someone whose work you admire. You can locate these people on the Internet or by word of mouth. Next step is to consult with them about what kind of ceramic tile murals you’re interested in and how well they could bring your visualization to reality.
The artist will put together some sketches and show you and if you approve, he or she can go ahead and start hand painting the actual tiles, which you also would choose. (One thing to remember is that if you intend to use the mural on a countertop, the artist should be asked not to use lead-based paints.) This entire process can be done online if the artist you prefer lives across the country, or indeed across the world. Digital images of the work in progress can be emailed for approval.
Once the painting is finished, the tiles need to be fired at greater than 1,900 degrees in a kiln to guarantee permanence. This process is called bisque firing and serves to harden the tile and bond the paint to it. If glazing is required, then the tiles will be fired a second time after applying the glaze, which liquefies and bonds it to the surface. Firing can take 24 hours as the kiln temperature must be reduced extremely gradually so as not to cause any damage to the tiles due to rapid changes in temperature.
Once the artist is happy with the finished product, the tiles are numbered sequentially on the back so that the mural can be assembled in jigsaw fashion. They are packed with great care into shipping boxes and dispatched to the eager client. From consultation to delivery, ceramic tile murals can take from two to six months, depending on the demands upon and popularity of the artist, and the size, design and intricacy required.
Ceramic tile murals don’t come cheaply as they are extremely labor intensive and highly individualized works of art. Expect to pay upwards of $100 per hour for the actual art work.