Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

We've been hard at work getting ready for the holiday season and the coming New Year. We are all excited about the new products to be released this coming year and we're busy assembling new displays and designing new concepts and we are sure you will love them! Keep an eye on the blog for some upcoming "sneak peeks" of all our new ideas. The factory and showroom will be closed from Sat. Dec 24th to Tues. Jan 3rd. so everyone can have a much deserved holiday break.

Every year we make a holiday ornament to send out to our friends and associates.
 Here's a few photos to show you how we do it. 

Every year Vance creates the original sculpture

It's carved in Plasticine

Then we make a plaster mold for the Ram press

We spend a few days stamping them out and cleaning them up!

We hope you have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to working with you in 2012! Seasons Greetings from all of us at Pratt & Larson!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tile Counter and Copper Sinks

We finished the new display and sample area behind the kitchen, which involved moving all kinds of shelving that had been blocking the windows, relocating some samples to fill the shelves in this room and bringing up our collection of copper sinks from the warehouse. 

The rich dark color of the copper looks so dramatic against the clean lines of the Ivory Simple Solutions counter. It's a huge improvement over the cluttered storage room it had become back there!

I know solid surface counters are popular, but the 4x12 tile on this counter has such a great clean look without feeling too cold, maybe its time to give tile counters a second thought?
Come in and tell us what you think.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The turkey fog is lifting and its time to get back to work - It's been busy in the showroom while I was out this past week and there are lots of new displays. Time to get blogging! 
Stay tuned for new installations, new giant display boards, a blog all about Fireplaces and an introduction to our newest employee!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What's New in the Pratt & Larson Outlet Store?

There's loads of great new stuff in the outlet! 
Colorful field tiles in useful quantities and of course, at terrific prices.


There's even some accessories in much sought after whites and neutrals.  

Alex has been busy resorting the field tile by color group. It makes it easier to find what you're looking for, and creates some beautiful color blends in the process. 
So come by soon and see what's new! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Construction Zone: New Sink Display Space

We're creating a new display space in our showroom! This hall had become a catch-all for old display boards, showroom decorations and samples and was pretty much a mess. We've decided to reclaim it as part of the showroom and use it to showcase our beautiful collection of copper sinks. The walls got a fresh coat of white paint and the counters are being tiled as i write this - in our Simple Solutions stock 4x12's. 

I think it already looks pretty fantastic - come in soon to see it completed! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Introducing the P&L Arabesque

We've just released a new shape! The Arabesque in Large and Small. 
Such a classic timeless shape, and now it's available in any of our hundreds of glaze colors!

Beautiful in a single color or mix up a blend of your own. 
Shown here in the new Craftsman and Watercolor Grays. Stop by the showroom, they're even more beautiful in person. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here's some creepy critters for your Bubbling Cauldron! 
Have a Happy Halloween!

Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.— 
Toad, that under cold stone, 
Days and nights has thirty-one; 
Swelter'd venom sleeping got, 
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! 
Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

-William Shakespeare Macbeth

Friday, October 28, 2011

Color Inspiration Gray and Golden Yellow

Gray. The neutral everyone loves to talk about, myself included! Here in rainy Portland, Oregon we get plenty of gray. Our skies are gray 222 days a year (according to the Western Regional Climate Center). So maybe that's why I'm so happy to embrace the gray-yellow combination that's been the talk of the town lately, I can always use a little sunshine!

photo via Belle Maison
I've matched up some great inspiration photos with their tile interpretations of this lovely color combo in glass and ceramics. For starters, here's a lovely color palette.

Color Collective palette
On the Color Collective blog they pull color palettes from the beautiful images that inspire them. The colors are shown right underneath making them easy to use as a starting point for any kind of project. A great place to look if you need a little help with color combinations.

photo from Better Homes & Gardens via Casa Sugar

I love these yellow medallions and the beautiful warm gray wall color. It seems like a fun place to start and it immediately called to mind Pratt & Larson circle tile. This random circle blend plays on the medallion look above with a spattering of golden circles. Just a tiny punch of color can be enough to liven up an installation.
P&L random circles in W30, W88 & W89

I noticed these Intaglio textured tiles below in the factory getting ready to be shipped out, they have a much softer feeling to them and a warmer gray like the wall color behind the bright medallions that works nicely with the tatami like textures.

P&L Intaglio textures in W70 and W81
Stripes! I love this bedding. The quilted stripes in the yellow cover are a nice quiet echo of the bold gray and white stripes. So clean and crisp!
photo from Dwell via Apartment Therapy
Here's a field of Pratt & Larson random length stripes that might be just the thing for the bathroom connecting to this bedroom!
P&L random netted rectangles in R350 & R25
Or, if you like a bolder look here's some big wide stripes in a glass mosaic tile.
photo from Belle Maison

The Kellie pattern by Scalamandre in French Blue, Yellow and Off White uses the gray and yellow combination in a beautiful swirling pattern.

Kellie wallpaper by Scalamandre via Morrison Polkinghorne
If it's a more floral decorative pattern that catches your eye, take a look at our Vine Flower pattern. Shown here in two Duochrome colorways, I think the tiny yellow liner ties the whole look together in either colorway. 

P&L bas relief Vine Flower in DW79 & DW76 with a W25 liner

                 photo from Martha Stewart                                                 photo from Belle Maison

And finally here's a great assortment of yellow and gray prints framed with a touch of silver from Martha Stewart's website along with an installation of glass mosaics in assorted size squares that has a similar feeling.

You can interpret all kinds of images into tile, either using them as a palette starter like on Color Collective, or taking the overall feeling or patterning as your cue. Collect all kinds of images for inspiration and bring them in when you visit our showroom so we can help you find just the right tile to compliment your style.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In the Factory - Custom Color Matching

Today's "In the Factory" post is all about our custom color matching service. We have hundreds of glaze colors but sometimes you're looking for something very specific that isn't part of our standard glaze line. Don't worry! We can match most anything.Paint chips, vintage tile, fabric swatches, we've matched it all.

 This client sent us a series of paint chips to match.

Here's the sample chips of the custom glazes we created to match the paint chips.

And here's the swatch of Mosaic border 25 they requested in the custom colors.

It takes us about two weeks to match a sample and then we'll send you a chip to approve, or in this case a chip and a mosaic!

Here's another example of a custom color project. This client had fallen in love with some pieces of an old tile that was made on a red clay body. The red clay really shows through the glaze lending a warmth to the color that we just couldn't recreate on our white clay.

So we first sprayed the tile with a red slip, (slip is like liquid clay) which you can see here on the ends of the finished tiles. 

Then we applied the green and blue glazes. Success!

We love to work on custom projects, custom shapes, custom artwork and custom colors. If you have something special in mind chances are good we can make it happen!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reta Larson's Side Street Gallery

Michael Pratt is having a show in November at Reta Larson's Side Street Gallery. A retrospective show featuring his terrific cards, including some never before seen images. His "Nostradogmas" is on the cover of this quarters Art Source Portland, a great guide to the Portland art gallery scene. The Side Street Gallery is the place to go for all things unusual and fun and their signature collection of plastic light ups. Stop in to see the art and pick up a holiday light up for your own display. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pratt and Larson Factory Tour

Did you know that we make our tile in Portland, Oregon?
We have a great team of amazingly talented artists and craftsmen who oversee all of the many many steps that go into producing Pratt and Larson Tile. Here's a little factory tour so you can see for yourself.

Making tile in the Extruding Dept
Creating the original artwork in the Casting Dept
Filling the molds in the Casting Dept
Loading the Bisque Kiln
Mixing the Glaze in the Glazemaking Dept

Glazes are applied by hand in the Hand Painting Dept

And applied with a spray gun in the Glazing Dept
Mesh mounting the Mosaics in the Netting Dept
If you're in town come on in and ask for a tour at the front desk!
 We love to show off. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In the Factory

Wandering through the factory I noticed a job in the shipping department using some of our earlier decorative tiles, the Mermaid panel and Wave.

Isn't she pretty?

I thought these Elongated Ogee tiles going to another job would make a nice watery field for her.

If you install them horizontally they look like waves - 

But she'll need to watch where she's swimming with these Fly Fishing 2x2's at the next table!