Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. The majority of my work has been for kitchen and bath installations and house numbers. I have painted indoor and outdoor signs, basins, trivets, pet portraits, tile for entryways, and painted special collections of favorite animals, birds or flowers on tile as well as china plates.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. I painted 4 different murals for the same client with different water birds because they live near the water in Tacoma, WA. I also did a mural with cormorants for another client in the same area.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Make certain that you see a portfolio of their work and talk with them to make certain that they understand the facts about tile and which tile is best for their installation. There are quite a few facts to be considered, esp for interior vs exterior installation. Some tile artists can/will only work on specific tile because of the paints they use. Also, make certain that decals are not used because even when fired on, they sit on top of the glaze because they are fired at lower temperatures. I always provide photos via email before firing so that my clients can have the final say before I fire the tile. My paints stay wet until fired and I am always willing to make changes as I am painting the tile for my client's enjoyment. My work is always guaranteed.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Make certain ahead of time that your artist can paint on the tile of your choice and that they guarantee the finished product. There are many factors that are involved in each job. Once the artwork is on the tile, it is usually permanent and you are committed, esp with some artists who ask for deposits that will not be returned for any reason. I have never asked for deposits because I want my clients who don't know me.....esp the ones from my website.....to feel comfortable working with me.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I have always been able to paint whatever subject my clients have wanted. I talk with them to find out what colors they don't and do like........very important when matching colors they are use in their home decor. I am very detail conscious and have always done excellent work in duplicating wallpaper and fabric designs, tile with art from the tile companies that is no longer sold. I work with china paints and the fact that they are transparent gives me the opportunity to put color over color and I can fire the tile as often as necessary to get the desired colors. Also, because my paints fire at lower temperatures, I can work on any glaze. I am not limited to a certain tile with a certain glaze. As long as the tile can be fired, I can paint it.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I have my dream job because I love to draw and paint, esp working with china paints. I can only use so many pieces of porcelain at home and install so much tile. My job gives me the opportunity to do add beautiful art to my clients homes or businesses while doing what I enjoy the most in my life. I enjoy creating custom art for each client. When working with my clients, I make certain that they have exactly what they would enjoy for a long time because tile is a permanent installation. I have worked with photos from a special vacation, pictures of pets, favorite flowers or animals.......there are many different choices and I love the challenge of creating 'art just for you".
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I have many as I have met many wonderful people and Jacob, the cat in the kiln, traveled with me before he left for "The Rainbow Bridge" made many friends too. He is still missed by quite a few people.
The story that stands out in my mind is "A Story for Anna". A mother and her son took his niece out for lunch and while they were waiting for their lunch, her son drew pictures on napkins as he told Anna a story. His mother kept the napkins for 15 years and one day decided to have me paint a tile for each story. This was done through a tile shop, so I didn't get to see the look on her son's face when she gave him the tile. What a wonderful memory a Mother gave to her son!
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I have worked in the business world since the age of 12 and I love working with people. This work has given me the opportunity to do what I love doing and to meet and work with wonderful people.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I have painted tile for 5 different installations for a very special lady who lives in NJ. They own a beautiful Victorian home near the NJ boardwalk and her ideas are very much in keeping with the home. She always tells me what subjects she wants in the murals and then tells me to "have fun". I painted a complete tub surround for her as well as two murals to be installed on either side of the entryway into their home.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. My most recent work are the two murals that will be installed on either side of the front entryway into a home. The murals were 3' x 6' painted on 12" porcelain tile. This project took me about 6 weeks to complete because it was very detailed, involving swans, cherubs, birds with a floral border. The finished product price was $4000.00 + shipping costs. I charge only for my actual shipping costs, not for handling.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. My prices are quoted per job as in the tile world, there are many variable. I do charge by the tile on individual pieces or by the sq ft on murals. For murals, there are often pieces that have very little painting on them or none at all and I do not charge for these tile.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Be certain that you understand all the facets of tile and the installation of tile. There is a lot to learn about tile that will help you advise your clients.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. My art is very detail oriented and realistic. Give me a picture, wallpaper or fabric to match and you will have an excellent reproduction on your tile.