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The First Tiles I Ever Made

Here we are, one week into 2015. As I write this, the wind chill outside is negative 11 F, but the days are getting longer and that makes my heart sing. The beginning of a new year always inspires me to do a little life review. You know the deal; Where am I going? Where have I been? Looking back, I realized that I officially registered my business name with the state of Ohio nine years ago yesterday. I actually got my vendors license and started selling a few tiles all the way back in September of 2004; it just took me a while to commit to the business name. It is hard to believe I have been doing this for a decade. Wow, the time has flown. I was pretty insecure about the whole thing when I started. I didn't have a grand plan. I didn't know much about business. All I knew is I loved handmade tiles, and I wanted to make them. From humble beginnings Emu Tile gradually turned into a viable career for me thanks to all of you beautiful people who share my love of handmade tile. Thank you so much for allowing me to do what I love for all these years. It has been amazing to connect to each and everyone of you through tile.

emily ulm

Me with my first kiln in 2004. This is NOT the first tile I ever made.

Gifts From the Heart of Nature 2014

I can hardly believe it is that time of year already! The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, OH is gearing up for their annual holiday art sale/ fundraiser, "Gifts From the Heart of Nature," and I am pleased that my work will be included again this year. Darrell and I delivered several boxes of tiles on Sunday afternoon, and while we were there I picked up this pretty postcard for the event:

gifts from the heart of nature

Coming Soon: Buffalo Tile

In my last post, I said I would post some "in-progress" photos of the new 4"x4" tile I am working on for the retail shop at Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff Estate, which is located near Buffalo, New York. As promised, here they are:

buffalo handmade tile for graycliff estate

First picture: Almost finished sculpting. At this point, I showed it to my husband and he immediately said it reminded him of a Buffalo nickel, which thrilled me. Buffalo nickels (made from 1913- 1938) were a source of inspiration for this piece, but I hadn't told him. His comment felt like high praise!

Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff Estate in Derby, NY

It is an honor for me to announce that Emu Tile are now available in the retail shop at Graycliff Estate, in Derby, NY. Graycliff was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1926 and 27 on the shore of Lake Erie. It was rescued from demolition in the late 1990s, and has been thoughtfully restored by the Graycliff Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the one of a kind property. To learn more about Graycliff Estate and plan a visit, go to graycliffestate.org

Graycliff Estate

A Wetland Themed Kitchen

This is a very special kitchen. I have been holding onto these photos for months, hesitating to post them out of fear that my write up won't do them justice. But the reality is, photos this nice speak for themselves! They need to be shared and now is the time. So without further ado, behold the kitchen of Sue and Ted R:

handmade tiles in a kitchen green glaze

The plant and animal themed tiles are all Emu Tile, naturally (glaze is "leaf green.) The surrounding field tiles and decorative border tiles were made by another fine Ohio tile maker, Seneca Tile (glazes are "celadon," "eggshell," and "evergreen"). Over the stove is a trio of "Birds on a Branch" tiles:

A Custom Tile for McKay Bricker Gallery

McKay Bricker Gallery, in Kent, Ohio has been very good to me. I am extremely grateful for all that gallery owners Cass and Bob have done to promote my art over the years, so I decided to express my appreciation by making a handmade tile version of their ubiquitous oval shaped Black Squirrel logo. If you live in Northeast Ohio you have almost certainly seen the design. Here in Kent, it seems as though ever other car has one of these bumper stickers:

oval squirrel tile kent ohio

(this is the one on my car!)

Tree of Life Kitchen

It has been way too long since I have posted customer installation pictures! Especially since I have been sitting on some really nice ones, including these:

handmade tiles in a black and white traditional kitchen

This pretty kitchen features a classic color palette of white, black and gray. The backsplash is a consists a combination of painted wood paneling and tile. The tile above the cook top is a mix of natural stone and ceramic tile. The centerpiece is a 6"x6" "Tree of Life" tile made by yours truly. Here is a closer look:

handmade tile kitchen backsplash

artTILE 2014 at indigenous gallery

Oh my goodness, I can hardly believe that May is almost over and I haven't posted this yet. It is a great honor for me to be included in the talented group of tile artists whose work is currently being shown at indigenous gallery in Cincinnati, OH. Fortunately, the show runs through June 15th, so there is still time to check it out!

artTILE 2014 indigenous gallery Cincinnati ohio

For more information, visit www.indigenouscraft.com

JF Tile & Stone Studio in Carson City, NV

I am happy to add JF Tile & Stone Studio in Carson City, NV to the list of galleries who carry my work. JF Tile is a small business run by the talented Jeannie Fung-Donaire, a woman who appreciates unique and handmade tiles and knows how to integrate them into her clients homes. 

JF Tile and Stone

If you live near Carson City and are not sure where to begin on your tile project, make sure you pay a visit to their sunny showroom.