Robert Harrison

Tile Houses at Turman Larison Contemporary

I have been working with Quarry Tile Company in Spokane, Washington since 2004 when I was commissioned to build a large-scale outdoor architectural sculpture for their factory entrance. The finished piece, Quarry Tile Gateway, gave me the opportunity to research and explore the ceramic tile technology at QTCo. In 2008 I was working towards a solo exhibition of new works at Turman Larison Contemporary and came up with an the concept of building prototypical square tile houses.

Quarry Tile Company has an in-house water-jet operation and the unique capability to re-fire the finished water-jet cut tile in their kilns to soften the cut edges of the tile. I sent them drawings for the four sizes of houses, and they cut the tiles and re-fired them to my specifications. Once I had the cut and re-fired tiles back in my Montana studio I worked with decals, china paints and lusters to bring the glazed surfaces to life. The fired pieces are then re-assembled with silicone and mounted onto wooden bases.