A new place for tile

Last year a fabulous exhibition stretched the possibility of tile far outside of it’s comfort zone. Philadelphia-based artist Sean Gerstley‘s solo show Tile Block presented a patchwork of ceramic creations designed for the home.

Green on Green Side Table

Skirting the boundaries of what it means to be tile, some of Gerstley’s furniture pieces are very much not tile, especially the hand-pinched lighting structures, whilst others blend tile with 3D forms. Green on Green Side Table, Nesting Tables, Console Table, and Chair No. 1 demonstrate this perfectly as their organic hand-formed structures are topped with thick tile-esque seats and surfaces – the Tile Blocks.

Nesting Tables
Chair No. 1

Amongst these funtional forms hang the Cyberpunk Mallard Duck mirror and Promises Mirror, both of which are decorated in free form ceramics in a multitude of colours. But the standout piece is undoubtedly the stunning Surfboard Table, a stretched coffee table in pastels and softened hues.

Cyberpunk Mallard Duck and Console Table
Surfboard Table

The entire exhibition is centred around the idea of welcoming ceramics into living spaces, beyond the usual and expected. With that in mind, his objects and their placement are designed to read as a home, for it to be “like peering into someone’s living room.”

Promises Mirror
Moment of Clarity Vase

Each of the 13 objects began life as American red earthenware clay, with grog (unglazed pottery or brick) added for texture. Gerstley then creates structure with coiled walls, and pinches the clay in the exterior. These pieces are then fired at high temperatures and custom glazes are added to produce a lively assortment of colours. Here’s to hoping we can expect a Sean Gerstley tile collection in the future.

Sean Gerstley’s solo show was held at Superhouse from October 8 – November 14, 2021.

Sean Gerstley
Superhouse

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2022.

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