## MAKING THE PATTERN

An island friend commissioned me to make a tile mural for the 38 square feet (in four panels) of wall behind her woodstove. We talked about what she had in mind, and both of us were swept up in a vision of the amazing possibilities offered by handmade tiles. An image of water, she said. The ocean, the flow and rhythms of it. Here's the drawing I came up with (just on typing paper, taped together) for the project:

I brought the drawing to her, and she liked it. The next phase was to measure the exact dimensions of the four pieces of cement board that currently make up those surfaces, and to create life-size patterns - one for each panel. Three of the panels are five feet high. (The current cement boards will be replaced with new ones to hold these tiles - more about that step later.) Below is one of the full-size panel patterns, drawn on a piece of Tyvek, with each pattern piece numbered. It's five feet high and 40 inches wide.

The numbers on this panel start at 90, because I've already numbered two of the other panels on their own pattern sheets. This sheet goes up to 198. I'm guessing that I'll end up with around 260 tiles, all told. Each one different. The next step is to trace each pattern piece onto a piece of paper, and cut it out. That way, I preserve the original Tyvek pattern sheet, so I can lay out the clay tiles on it. I'm using cheap typing paper to make my individual pattern pieces. Below are a few of these pieces, traced but not yet cut out.

I'll add the next steps in another post soon.