How It’s Made

All tile pieces start with a salmon stoneware clay – sourced locally in the mountains of western North Carolina.

The clay – in 50 pound quantities – is rolled out using a large table called a “slab roller”.  The slab of clay will measure approximately 3 feet by 3 feet in a rough, rounded square with a depth of about 1/2 inch. All tiles are hand cut from this rolled clay slab.

All tile pieces start with a salmon stoneware clay – sourced locally in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Now the fun begins. Depending on the projects at hand – this clay could become a Totem part, a car fender, a back splash or counter top or maybe just a large free form triptych mural. Usually each the slab is for a specific project, almost all of the clay used. But whenever there is extra – that will be used to make Totem parts.

57 Edsel in raw clay 01-19-2014All tile pieces start with a salmon stoneware clay – sourced locally in the mountains of western North Carolina.

The clay – in 50 pound quantities – is rolled out using a large table called as a “slab roller”.  The slab of clay will measure approximately 3 feet by 3 feet in a rough, rounded square with a depth of about 1/2 inch. All tiles are hand cut from this rolled clay slab.

Now the fun begins. Depending on the projects at hand – this clay could become a Totem part, a car fender, a back splash or counter top or maybe just a large free form triptych mural. Usually each the slab is for a specific project, almost all of the clay used. But whenever there is extra – that will be used to make Totem parts.

Classic Wheels – cars or motorcycles – usually starts from a photograph supplied by the buyer – and progresses to a large drawing, the right size to produce a finished piece as designed. That drawing forms the template for transferring the image to soft clay.  The clay is now hand-cut to forming separate tiles for all the pieces of the design. It is not uncommon to have to make a certain part more than once – before finally getting all the right pieces. This true for all designed tiles pieces, whether fine art like the classic cars, or architectural – like a counter top or a commissioned corporate piece.

But – it is not true of Totems. Totems are a magical creation of Cathy Gerson Studios that are spontaneous, spiritual, magical and incorporates small pieces of found objects. Totems have many tiles and those may be sculpted, pressed with antique wood blocks or carved. And in among the glazed tiles will be stones, glass or objects to make each Totem unique, appealing and personal. Objects may include Millefiori glass, coral, turquoise, polished stones, sea glass, marbles, dice and even a geode.