Pat painting a floor load of carved, double primed, plywood shapes.
She uses latex enamel paint and paints at least two coats.
Pat and Chip work, comfortably, sitting on their studio floor.
Chip is feeding tiles to Pat so she can squeegee the under glaze through the silk screen stencil.
Each color needs at least two applications to be the right intensity when fired. Each color requires
a separate screen stencil cut and made to make up the layers. It usually takes 5 or 6 stencils to
complete the design (plus one more stencil for the metallic accents that screen on after the first
firing,the gold gets fired in a second firing).
When Pat paints her large ceramic  tile paintings, she lays out
the tiles on the floor and paints them as a whole.   She does not
grid the painting out or work on one piece of the tile at a time.   
    Chip carving the wood shape that Pat has
    drawn on. He uses a Dremel tool and a lot of
    Dandelion, the Denisons 30 year
    old Amazon parrot decides to
    entertain Pat by bathing in the
    pan of decals.
Pat cuts and applies ceramic decals to some glazed tiles.
These tiles will be used on the bodies of the wood  cut-outs.
The decals add a lot of pattern and detail. The images are
ceramic glaze and require another kiln firing.
Chip bandsaws plywood into a  shape
from Pat's design.
Pat has her work cut
out for her. After
Chip cuts the wood
shape from Pat's
pattern,  Pat draws
the design for Chip
to carve.
Chip painting one of the three layers of
glaze that will make the tiles look shiny
after the tiles are fired in the electric kiln.
Tiles stacked in
the kiln,
for Chip to unload
them after their
first firing at
1865  F.
The tiles still need
metallic accents
screened on and
another firing.
These photos show just a few of the more visual steps in the many times  Pat
and Chip pick up, alter and juggle the materials used to create a Denison Tlles
artwork. They do not price their work by the hour and do not keep track of all
the time spent on one individual piece. The Denisons evaluate their yearly
income, add in the fun factor and privilege of working at home, together, and
decide on a price structure. Their prices are low for all the labor involved, but,
then, the Denisons really enjoy their life.
One of the last steps in the lengthy process is for Pat to pound in the
upholstery nail embellishments that add texture,pattern and interest to the
Denison art.
The Denisons aren't secretive about their process. They are happy to share sources, and answer questions.
They love art and artists. Please be respectful of their time though. They don't teach or give seminars.
The Denisons art is about creativity, energy, and labor, not secret recipes.
Pat Custer Denison,
cutting the lacquer
film used to adhere to
the screen to make a
stencil for applying  
glaze to a ceramic
tile(one of the few
times she works at a
There is a lot of
hand painting on
the silk screened
Chip does all the
hair and
Pat does all the
eyeballs, eye catch
lights, and big
to paint outside
the lines). Chip
paints ALL the
black edges, free
Some of the steps involved
in the ceramic tile and
wood process.