Robert Harrison

Black and White Houses

I received an invitation to participate in a Black and White themed exhibition at Turman Larison Contemporary in 2012, which forced me to reduce my usually colorful tile palette to it’s most elemental form. I chose to produce 3 new tile pieces, using black and white Italian porcelain tiles. I took my inspiration for the new architectural forms from structures that had fascinated me in my travels; a Danish tower, a single story long-house and the ubiquitous barn structure found in Montana. I sent my drawings for the pieces to Quarry Tile Company in Spokane, Washington, who then produced CAD drawings for the computer directed cutting of their on-site water-jet saw.

  • 2012
  • Largest piece: 20" Long x 14" wide x 16" High

I decided to use unglazed textured black tile and smooth white tile for the project. Custom black decals of my line drawings, along with spiraling scroll drawings were fired onto the unglazed tile surfaces. The doors and windows were cut from black and white glazed tile and re-fired. I applied and fired platinum luster to some of the windows to create reflective surfaces. The roof tiles were incised by the water-jet saw at QTCo. and then I applied black china paint into the incisions on the white tile roofs and re-fired them. The tiles were assembled and attached to painted wooden bases with clear silicone. The exploration of new architectural forms and increased scale in the tile pieces forged new ground for this exhibition.