Elevating the mastery of mosaics to utterly bewildering heights is an artist whose skill and vision is unmatched, with talents honed by “straddling the worlds of fine art and contemporary craft”, and tiletastic displays one has to see to believe. Today we’re talking Susan Day.
Creating large-scale, architectural installations of handmade ceramics, Day’s artworks have decorated a number of public walls including the facade of her own house. Not your average mosaics, instead of piecing together images, patterns, and scenes from ceramic fragments, Day’s designs are fully custom, with hundreds of individually crafted tiles.
Complete with varied surface relief decor, tiles that feature faces, eyes, leaves, creatures, and swirls form Day’s designs “drawing connections to nature and identity” in a striking display with endless layers of detail.
Some recent creations include a 500 square-foot exterior mosaic work commissioned by the City of Lethbridge, Alberta titled ‘The New Nature’, a 1000-square-foot mosaic artwork at the London Children’s Museum, and a vibrant, biophilic exterior facade for the new safe injection site in central London, Ontario.
As for Day’s home, a desire for a change of pace led her and her husband to sell up their suburban ranch home and trade it in for “a condemned house in a gritty inner city neighbourhood.” Working with Brad Skinner of Skinner Architects, the property was transformed into the ideal blank canvas, and later, after installing approximately 100,000 tiles, into a striking piece of art. As the extreme weather of this SW Ontario city (spanning -30C to 34C over the year) could be detrimental to ceramics, Day has formulated a dream clay and glaze team designed to handle erratic weather and quick drops in temperature. So far no tiles have been lost!
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2023.