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Mosaic Artistic Tile Adds Art to Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Oven Arch

Tiled arch of Forno Bravo wood-fired oven utilizing local art tile and simple stones

The flame is being fanned all across the country for Wood-Fired Ovens and the delicious food and entertainment they provide. We’re fanning the fire for exciting tile installations! We recently installed the tiles shown here on the arch of our own oven at our home.  There are so many ways to use tiles on an oven installation but I suggest including something creative into your oven design whatever you do. Break the boredom and drop the minimalist look from time to time!

You can choose tiles that are colorful, whimsical, classic, craftsman,  Latin, glass, stone; the possibilities are endless. Mosaics flow nicely and so believing I could work with the pieces we decided to combine these classic handmade decorative  art tiles with a simple grey stone, both of which are available through our showroom The ARCH. Just give us a call and we can discuss creative ideas with you. I selected a grey grout which still allows for the various stone colors to pop out. Over the years the dark grout color won’t get dirty in appearance and it tones down the brighter tiles to blend with the earthy primitive nature of wood-fire cooking.

Sketch, plan, let it evolve.

Move the pieces around until they work. It changed from this initial plan but was part of the process.

I started with a cardboard template of the arch and some paper cut outs of the tile pieces and stone shapes to see how it would flow.

After sketching and playing with some layouts, I attached the template to an arch on one of our showroom Forno Bravo models. (The oven shown below is the Casa2G80 32″ interior diameter which happens to have the same arch size as our Casa2G90 36″ interior diameter oven).

Once all the selections were made I special ordered the metallic glaze beauties from a local artist whose work we display at The ARCH, and the stone tiles that come on a mesh material.

Continue to experiment with the arch

I hand picked the most workable stones, placed them on the template and played and played with them until they were working with the tiles.

I had to keep in mind that I would apply extra adhesive to the backs of some pieces.

Working with the pieces

Pressing tiles and stones into tile adhesive.

A few modifications from the original layout so I recommend careful measuring of the template.  The process installing the mosaic was more enjoyable than I predicted as I had not completed a mosaic before.

Applying tile adhesive with a putty knife

It was a very sculptural feeling when it came to moving the grout throughout the mosaic.  I used a grout bag to squirt the grout around all the pieces given there was so much variation in sizes and heights.  The highs and lows of tiles and stones all connected as I smoothed the grout between the pieces.

Sponging off excess grout and cleaning.

Finally, the arch was complete!

The counter surface will meet up with the oven floor entry for easy use when cooking.

It was a pleasure to finally relax and see the fire nestled in the oven with the tiled arch surrounding it.

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The ARCH Shares Examples of Framed Art Tiles and Recommends Studio B

Little Bird sgraffito black and white tile framed in a simple black frame

I’m not a professional framer, but I have a business neighbor and friend who is- and she is excellent.  Patti Bell with Studio B Custom Framing and Fine Art has been there for customers of The ARCH that want tiles framed (or other types of art pieces).

Framed woven textile by Jean McGrew. Another fine example of enhancing the piece. Currently available for 186.00.

Many of the tiles at The ARCH are carefully considered as focal pieces in installations. They are set in back splashes, behind ranges, bathrooms, garden areas,  you name it. Though, a number of pieces are simply collected and appreciated individually as collectable art. They’re not installed, just purchased by those that appreciate and love  art tile. Some of these tiles aspire to be displayed in a safe simple manner. I say safe, because the hanging methods of tile by themselves are often a little dubious. Personally I do not trust most of the small indentations on the tile backs meant for a nail or hook. They are just too shallow and I cringe at the thought of one dropping off the wall when the wind  catches it or a door slams shut.  If you would like to consider framing a tile the frame shouldn’t overpower the piece as with any other art piece. The frame should compliment it.

Ravenstone tiles in complimentary frame

Shown here is an example of a burled wood frame effectively picking up the glaze tones of the trunk of a triptych set of Ravenstone tiles. Patti has the experience and eye for recommending what will work well with a piece.   This frame has a movement and character that works perfectly with the tiles.  I’ve seen many Ravenstone tiles framed, but I must say this is one of the most complimentary frames I have seen with these tiles. Presently this triptych is availble in The ARCH gallery for only 250.00.

Grouping of three framed sgraffito tiles

This collection of black and white sgraffito tiles works well with  simple black frames.  The frame does not compete in any way with the piece.

Heron sgraffito tile

It’s  a simple affordable frame setting off an  eye-catching collection of tiles. These are just a few examples. My biggest regret is that so many tiles that were framed over the years didn’t get photographed!  I’ll work on this and you may see some additional framed pieces added to this blog or a future blog. Meanwhile, come visit us!

Showroom with assorted tiles from The ARCH. Lower right has two craftsman framed tiles with oak frames.