Friday, December 21, 2012

Season's Greetings from Pratt & Larson

We've been busy in the factory making new holiday ornaments!
If you've been collecting our ornaments over the years you know we had a long tradition of making little house ornaments, maybe you have a whole neighborhood in your tree by now! For 2012 we begin a new theme ~ Snowflakes. 

Each one was pressed and the hole carefully drilled by hand.

Then they were glazed and fired in a sparkly metallic glaze or a beautiful wintry blue.

We boxed them up and shipped them out all over the country.

So we could wish you all a wonderful holiday season!
 Happy Holidays from all of us at Pratt & Larson and best wishes for the New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


 We've been having fun in the showroom making cookies! It's a lot like making tile really... 

Roll them out and bake them -
 Glaze them up all sparkly and pretty - 

 Box them up and ship them out! 

Hope all your holiday preparations are going as smoothly! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Shapes at P&L

We're introducing a ton of new shapes to our line! It all started when we added the Arabesque shape to our line, now we just can't seem to stop.

First we have the Small Fan. It comes netted in two patterns and with all of our colors to play with there are so many possible looks. As you group them together you can see where some of our other new shapes came from... 

The Lantern has a great curvy shape. You can see it's inspiration in the board above, four small fans make one Lantern.  It's a more contemporary take on the traditional arabesque.

Then there's the Scalloped Fan which was also inspired by the Small Fan. Four small fans equal one Large Scalloped Fan. In gray I think they look like our cloudy Portland sky.

 They also come in a small size, in case you're not a Portlander and like a smaller dose of clouds.


Finally there are a few new shapes with a very contemporary look.

The Small Trapezoid, the Flat Cross and below is the Square Lantern.

We've been having a such a great time coming up with all these new shapes there's bound to be more.
 Stay Tuned!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the Factory - Custom Projects

A client sent us this beautiful antique tile and asked us to recreate it for their project.  Custom projects can be very involved and labor intensive, but it keeps us sharp. We love a challenge!  Here's the process we went through to create this lily pad tile.

First a "blank" was made using wood and plasticine to create the basic frame shape. 

The blank was cast in plaster and the details of the frame were carved in.

From there the lily pad was added in plasticine and the piece was cast again.

Once the piece was approved we made another mold and cast it in rubber. This is the mold we use to make molds! Plaster molds wear out and the details can get lost. Having an original in rubber lets us make new molds to keep the patterns consistent over time. 

Meanwhile the glaze colors were also being tested. Since the custom piece was still in the works we used our own lily pad to test on. 

A second try at the green for the lily pad and we are good to go. Here's the original on top and our copy on the bottom. Success! Of course that's just the one for approval, now the job has to go through production which usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. It's well worth the wait when you see all the careful work that goes into a beautiful custom  piece.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Motif Part 2- Looking at the larger picture

Last month I introduced our newest line - Motif and talked about the basics of the line. This entry talks about how our the Motif tiles are designed to repeat and create a larger overall pattern. Sometimes this pattern can be hard to see when you are just looking at a single tile. This is especially the case when you use the Color Fill technique. Here's a few examples to help you keep the big picture in mind!

 In the Motif pattern F below the gold accent creates a bold focal point in the pattern. In a single tile its not so obvious - the gold is off at the edges and the pale blue is the central element. Once repeated the pale blue recedes to the background and it's the gold elements that form a bold pattern.

Here is the same pattern in a much softer palette. 

Motif pattern E is a bit more obvious from a single piece but the little blue triangle becomes a diamond accent when the pattern is repeated. 

The arabesque shape in Motif pattern B can form bands of colors that might not be obvious in a single piece.

Here's Motif B again with two colors which creates more of a checkered pattern.

The next few images show Motif pattern H ColorFilled in different ways. This can have a big impact on how the pattern reads. The first example has a light background which recedes, letting the flower pattern standout.

The next example uses two colors with very little contrast. Using the lighter color for the center petals reduces the floral feeling of the pattern a bit, making it a little more abstract.

Here's an example with a really bold background color which creates a lattice pattern behind the flowers.

This last example colors the petals differently to create more of a clover like pattern. In the corners they chose the dark color only for the small petals which makes a small flower pattern offset to the larger one when the pattern is multiplied. 

When you order custom Motif ColorFill we'll send you a computer generated picture showing a square foot of the pattern so you can visualize how the overall pattern will read. We'll also send you a sample tile so you can see how the colors read on the specific pattern you've chosen. Since all of our tile is made and painted by hand every piece is going to be a little different.  There are so many options that even we are sometimes surprised by the big picture! Keep an eye on our Facebook page too where I've been posting lots of pictures of the beautiful Motif tile samples everyone has been ordering!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Street of Dreams 2012

We are very excited to be featured in the 2012 Street of Dreams at The Vineyard in West Linn. Pratt & Larson is showcased in several rooms in the Calistoga, designed and built by Pahlisch Homes. The interior finishes and furniture were all chosen by  Ronda Divers Interiors and the house is absolutely stunning. 

 The kitchen uses the Pratt & Larson Hexagon Pattern #2 in a beautiful assortment of neutral creamy colors.

 The mosaic pattern is used through out the kitchen, tying the many work areas together. 

The Jack and Jill bathroom uses Pratt & Larson Mosaic Pattern #25 in a wonderful combination of Craftsman glazes creating a rich warm rug on the floor. The mosaics are framed with a soft golden border using a custom 5x5 size that repeats on the vanity top as well as in the tub surround.

The Mosaic Pattern #25 appears again in the tub surround, this time as a border. The 5x5 field tile shows the rich variation that makes our Craftsman glazes so beautiful and unique.  

 The tile for the kitchen and the Jack and Jill bathroom was manufactured by Pratt & Larson Ceramics, right here in Portland, OR.  The Master Bath uses a beautiful hexagon tile from Seneca Tile based in Ohio, and available in Portland through the Pratt & Larson tile showroom.

All the homes at the Street of Dreams look spectacular this year (as always!) so be sure to check it out.  The show is open until August 26th, and it's certainly worth a visit  for some great design inspiration. Special thanks to interior designer Joelle Jarvis from Ronda Divers Interiors  for choosing Pratt and Larson Ceramics for this wonderful home.