How It’s Done – Classic Wheels

This picture tells some parts of the story – 150302-Gerson-Cathy-9467mf

It all starts with a customer request, with your imagination. Like with this 1971 Oldsmobile 442. Ideally a few pictures of the car or motorcycle are all CGS needs.

The second step it to project the image onto a 3 x 4 sheet of paper where Cathy redraws it, in her own way, as in the bottom image of this convertible.

Then a slab of clay is rolled out and the drawing laid over the clay slab. Carefully the paper image is transferred to the clay, and then the hand cutting of the clay to match the drawing is the next step.

At this point a very much flat and 2D set of tiles, but then the sculpting begins. Cars have features that Cathy loves so she enhances, alters and molds their shapes in the clay. Colors can be critical too – so Cathy Gerson Studios (CGS) relies on years of glaze experience, recipes and knowledge to provide custom glaze colors.

The car “parts” are fired twice – once to dry the tiles and a second time as a glaze firing. Yes – sometimes the tiles unexpectedly warp or crack. Sometimes a fender or a hood has to be made twice (or more) – so having that drawing is key. Cathy Gerson Studios maintains those drawings – and saves them. CGS, therefore, has a “Parts Department” – and if ever a car or motorcycle gets damaged – spare parts may be available.

The tiles all form a puzzle of objects that together are the vehicle – and are adhered to a wood backing. Aluminum backing is also available, for outdoor installation. A French Cleat is included for hanging.