Cast tiles by Rachel Dein

Cast of Thousands

Late Summer (detail) cast tile by Rachel Dein
Late Summer (detail) cast tile by Rachel Dein

Rachel Dein makes casts of incredibly fragile flowers, plants and even vegetables, then turns them into extraordinary Wedgewood-style decorative tiles. To create these wonderfully tactile, gossamer images, Dein has adapted a glass casting technique she learned at Middlesex University by pressing her plants into wet clay, then carefully pouring over them a mixture of plaster and concrete. This painstaking process preserves even the most delicate details on these fantastic tiles. The magical moment is the reveal; when Rachel Dein lifts the clay clear to reveal the plaster plants in all their glory.

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2 thoughts on “Cast of Thousands

  1. I love this blog. I’m in awe of Rachel Dein’s work and I would love to try it. I live in Canada so unfortunately I can’t attend her workshop. Rachel Dein’s concept seems simple however, her work stands out for a reason. I’m puzzled about how smooth her casts are as well as her multi coloured pieces. Do you have any pointers about the process in terms of the steps, the colouring and the sealing techniques?

    1. Sorry. I know most of the processes and wrinkles in commercial tile production, but when it comes to the work of Rachel and others like her, I am reduced to the role of an awestruck observer at the other end of a computer. I do try to visit the UK’s wonderful pool of artisanal tile artists whenever I can, but I have only ever managed to visit a handful beyond these shores. Joe

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