Blue Slide Art Tile
Point Reyes Station, California
Gordon Bryan and Pamela Bridges founded Blue Slide Art Tile while living in Humboldt County, California in 1982 before moving south a few years later to Point Reyes Station, adjacent to the coast in northwest Marin County. Over the past twenty years the company's location has moved, but not far, within the picturesque, coastal community, but production levels have remained about the same—by choice.
Gordon is a UC Berkeley graduate who studied painting under Elmer Bischoff, a prominent member of the Bay Area Figurative School. He apprenticed with Linda Ellett and Donald Shore at L'esperance Tile Works in Albany, New York, where he became inspired by Henry Mercer and his Moravian tiles.
The company today is neatly housed in a converted Chevron depot that the couple has expanded to meet their production needs. Located at the southern edge of town, the building adjoins acres of hilly grasslands, typical of the region, and the atmosphere inside is casual, patient, yet with a hands-on concentration. Decorative tiles are formed in a rudimentary, hand-operated press, one at a time, and are later carefully glazed by the artist. The field tiles are also handmade but, unlike others made today, Blue Slide tiles speak of an artist's touch as the glazes are applied by brush, in layers, providing every finished installation with the appearance of a watercolor painting.
At the company's website, www.blueslidearttile.com, pay special attention to the "CBS 5 Eye on the Bay" video, an article from Sunset Magazine, and a recent story on Blue Slide from the San Francisco Chronicle.
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