Studio-Scale Architectural Ceramics with Stephani Stephenson

If you’ve ever considered making architectural ceramics but weren’t sure where to start, you’re in luck. Noted tile artist Stephani Stephenson presents all the information you need to get started with architectural ceramics in this technique-packed DVD. Whether you want to...(Scroll for more.)

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Runtime: 2 hours 40 minutes

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…tile a bathroom, add a fireplace surround, or create a unique garden wall, Stephani’s clear, easy-to-follow instructions will get you well on the way. You’ll learn everything from planning and designing to understanding all the nuances required for making tiles and sculptural features that will make a permanent artistic statement in your home. Original List Price: $69.97

Large from small

One of the best parts about architectural ceramics is that finished projects can be grand in scale. Stephani shows you how to plan your project and then how to break it down into small elements. Working from drawings, she demonstrates how to create individual elements of for your construction. Even large sculptural columns are broken down into manageable pices that can be constructed in the smallest of studios.

Tools of the trade

Through the years, Stephani has collected quite a few tools to help her in her custom work. Many of the tools are standard ceramic fare, but many are also borrowed from other trades. When she’s looking for a special profile or unique extrusion, she’ll make the tools she needs for the job at hand, which she also demonstrates. One of well-used tools is a drywall square she’s converted to a shrinkage ruler. Simple.

What it takes

Architectural ceramics is different from making pots and small sculptures. It requires planning and then more planning as you go along. The first time you make a large piece, you’ll find you need field, bullnose, toe, cap, edge and corner tile. If you add columns (and why not?), you’ll want to consider sculptural features along with how to section them so they’ll fit in your kiln.

Tile techniques

There are different techniques for making different types of tiles. Stephani shows you how to roll out tiles, extrude them, and press mold them. For bullnose tiles, you’ll see how a sled plane is used to create a profile, and it’s the same process for creating decorative edge tiles or even sculptural elements. Stephani covers some interesting tile forming techniques such as using a ‘laying up’ table, and ‘thumbing in’, and even includes her techniques for glazing. When it comes to installing the tile, Stephani recommends you contact a professional because they understand substrates, structures and anchoring systems that will be site specific.

Make your mark

Whether you opt for a project in your own home or decide you want to provide custom work for others, Stephani’s instructions will get you started and going in no time at all. Watching how she breaks everything down into workable units from design to glazing will give you the confidence you need to tackle a big project of your own. So take a look around the house and see where you can make your mark.

About the Artist

Stephani Stephenson has been working with clay for more than 30 years. After earning her BFA and MFA, she started a studio in Missoula, Montana. In 1997 she was awarded a Montana Individual Artist Fellowship for her sculptural clay work. Later that same year, she turned her artistic talents to architectural ceramics. Her work has been sold nationally and internationally. She has lectured at NCECA and other conferences, and is an experienced workshop presenter. Stephenson now operates Revival Tileworks ( from her studio in Southeast Arizona.

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