Arts & Crafts Gallery, Arts and Crafts, Decorative Ceramic Tile, Handmade Tile, Handmade Tiles, Ohio Tiles - , Emily Margaret Ulm

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:

Kent Ohio Black Squirrel

(this is the one on my car!)

Bob and Cass had these stickers made to celebrate black squirrels which are numerous in the area, and have become our unofficial town mascot. The stickers have become a very popular way to show civic pride. I picked up an extra sticker at the gallery to to use as a template, then got to work tracing it in clay. This is me putting the finishing touches on it:

Handmade Tile Design Squirrel Oval Tile

 Then I got ready to pour plaster for the mold:

Handmade Tile Prepare a Plaster Mold

If you are interested in mold making, here is a link to an old blog entry which has pictures of every step in the process. In this case, I only took before and after pictures because it is hard use a camera while working with plaster. After I poured the plaster and it cured, I allowed it to dry for several days before I filled it with clay. This is a picture of the back of one of the first tiles while still in the mold:

Oval Handmade Tile in Plaster Mold

It takes hours for the clay to shrink enough to release the tile from the mold. Under normal conditions, I can make about one tile per mold per day. I think the first three tiles came out great!

Oval Squirrel Handmade Ceramic Tiles, Kent Ohio

I find it fun to make oval shaped tiles instead of standard square or rectangular ones? Since this is not my own original design, these tiles will NOT be sold on They are a McKay Bricker Gallery exclusive. The first three tiles may still be available if they haven't all sold yet. If they are all gone, never fear, I am making more!