I stepped into a very exciting world yesterday, when I paid a visit to the Spier Architectual Arts building on Commercial Street in the city. It’s a lovely old building, but there’s little to make you guess at the large-scale vision and projects being tackled, the skills being grown, and the sheer busy-ness going on behind those old wooden doors.
On the top floor, there’s a beading studio, and below that, there’s a seriously hard-working mosaics academy (the scale of their projects is mindblowing! See this 13m high Conrad Botes mosaic!) But I was specifically interested in the Spier Architectural Arts Ceramics Studio in the basement.
This is where I got to see how thousands of tiles designed by Paul Edmunds (my bloke, you know) are being individually cast and finished by hand for a large-scale mural installation at Nando’s new headquarters in Lorentzville, Joburg later this year. So exciting to see this collaboration in process!
Without giving too much away, here are the tiles in the process of being cast. Each one is stamped with a number, as this 8 x 8 metre installation is going to be a verrrrry complicated one.
After having been bisque fired (above), each tile is carefully cleaned and sanded, ready for glazing. This is Phumzile, hard at work.
My pic of the finished, glazed tiles came out blurry (below), but maybe that’s the way it should be, as they’re not quite ready for the public eye, and all will be revealed once the installation has been completed.
While you’re watching this space, check out more of the Spier Architectural Arts’ projects on their website. I’ll be back with more news about Paul‘s collaboration with them… and one of my own, soon, too.