Plaster Tile / by Kristopher Conner

Plaster wall tile.jpg
Architect Louis Sullivan Tile

Architect Louis Sullivan Tile

A truly collaborative project that was a real learning experience for everyone involved, the repetitive tile project began as an abstract study of natural forms and an ode to the master Architect Louis Sullivan. Sullivan, former mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, designed beautiful ornamental terra cotta tiles that decorated his buildings' exteriors and interiors.

As a side project, Architect Duncan Nicholson assigned the conceptual design work as a collaborative learning exercise for intern Merlin Andrews. Using mathematical formulas, including fractal geometry, to inform a 2d design, it was then modified by Kris Conner to develop repetitive tile pattern. 

Original 2D line drawing

Original 2D line drawing

2D tile color diagram indicating depths of milling

2D tile color diagram indicating depths of milling

To bring this design into physical form Duncan contacted friend and fabricator extraordinaire Rives Rash III. Rives' shop was able to extrude the 2d design into a 3d milled foam positive of the design.

Foam and Rubber tile mold

Foam and Rubber tile mold

samples from left to right: plaster, rubber, foam

samples from left to right: plaster, rubber, foam

With assistance from Rives, James Perry was able to create a negative rubber mold of the positive foam tile.  Years of experience with plaster during school at the University of Texas at Arlington working at the wood and model shop for manager Jeff Whatley allowed James to pour a series of plaster tiles with consistent quality and beauty.

Plaster tile detail

Plaster tile detail

 Ready for installation, Duncan Nicholson selected to install the first series of tiles behind his desk on a wall in his office. He contacted master stone and tile contractor Mike Diona of Diona Marble to install the tiles and the installation came out flawlessly.

Duncan Nicholson's office with featured tile wall

Duncan Nicholson's office with featured tile wall

For more information about ordering this plaster design or getting your own custom design by Conner and Perry Architects contact us here.