About Handmade Tiles

In addition to his work with the UDU DRUM, Frank Giorgini is recognizedas one of the leading designers and promoters of handmade ceramic art tiles.

Frank Giorgini's book, HANDMADE TILES, (Lark Books, 1994) is in it's eighth printing and has become the instructional bible for tile making inceramic studios, schools and universities around the country. In 1995 Frank was honored by receiving the Tile Heritage Foundation Award for promoting awareness and appreciation of ceramic surfaces in the United States. His ceramic design and fabrication company, UDU Inc., produces custom handmade tiles and murals for private and public installations. In 1995 Frank was awarded a commission by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City to design the artwork for the Whitehall Street/South Ferry subway station of the N, R line in lower manhattan, and Udu Inc. is currently producing the art tiles he designed for the project.

Following are exerts from Frank Giorgini's best selling book Handmade Tiles, Lark Books, 1994.

"What is it about ceramic tiles that is so alluring and so comforting? For some people, it may be their permanence. Tiles have existed since thetime of the Roman Empire and the Babylonians. For others, the sight of a tile may recall wonderful childhood memories of standing in a warm kitchen or lying in a steaming bath. Tiles certainly tend to linger, not just in our memories but in actual space as well. Unlike wallpaper or paint, they aren't replaced frequently. The shapes and images that are frozen in time on their surfaces can create an environment that affects generations to come. Whatever their charm for individuals, the appeal of tiles spans the globe. Every culture with the technology and resources to do so has produced ceramic tiles. My interest is in handmade art tiles.

Clay has been my preferred medium in artistic expression for over twenty years. Although it's relatively valueless in its raw state, clay can be transformed by the human hand into objects of enduring beauty. And the process of shaping it is wonderfully practical and direct. This abundant material, so inviting to the touch, is completely malleable. It has no grain or direction and can be squeezed, pushed, scraped, paddled, and molded into almost any imaginable shape - from utilitarian vessels to sculptural objects and from decorative surfaces to musical instruments. There is something very satisfying about working with clay. As you shape it, you "touch the earth. "Through the miracle of hand, heart, and mind, you literally make something from nothing.

I approach the designing of handmade tiles as a three-dimensional clay canvas onto which I am able to express my ideas and images by drawing, scraping, and carving the surface to my satisfaction. My many years of experience and knowledge of clay materials allows me to produce finished glazed and unglazed tiles of the finest quality and durability. Transforming an amorphous lump of earthen material into a three-dimensional representation of my conceptand vision is my idea of a good time."



Visit the Tile Art Gallery to view some of Frank's award winning tiles.

To learn more about handmade tiles - the designing, making, decoratingand contemporary and historical examples - check out Frank's book and video Handmade Tiles.