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Tilton School

Tilton School

Tilton School

Tilton School

Tilton School
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Eric Rattan at Tilton School Eric Rattan at Tilton SchoolArtist Statement, Eric N. Rattan
Tilton School Handmade Tile Mural
With Student Participation

In the spring of 2011 I was invited to Tilton School as an artist-in-residence. The objective was to create a permanent handmade tile or stone mural with voluntary participation from the student body. Handmade tile art has seen an enthusiastic revival in the USA starting in the early 1980's. Our country enjoys a rich history of this art form. Industrial mass produced tile and the market crash of 1929 all but obliterated this tradition for 50 years. A general craft revival in the early 1980's rekindled this exciting architectural art medium. By creating a permanent handmade tile mural for the school, students were introduced to a medium rarely offered in a high school art curriculum. The "hands on" approach offered the students an opportunity to explore their creative side as well as learn the basics of trade approved mortar setting techniques. The resulting mural is on the thousand year plan as a result of employing cementitious adhesive application to substrates. Tilton School is a private day and boarding prep school in Tilton, NH. The student body is a diverse group of 9th-12th graders from around the globe. I hold a B.S. degree in education from the University Of Wisconsin, Madison. As a Tilton School graduate from the class of 1970, I was delighted to take on this teaching opportunity.

The Tilton Art Department staff selected “New England” as the theme for the handmade tile mural. I chose the quilt as the format from which to express that theme. The quilt patterns lend themselves to same size repeat squares, each one offering a different carved image. Twenty students signed on, some carving more than one 5” x 5” piece of linoleum for imprinting the wet clay slabs. Tilton art faculty members and I carved the border tiles that surround the student carved squares. The 10’ x 5’ mural is a permanent installation in the schools’ administration building. The students were an enthusiastic group of art students and academics.
The school staff was most cooperative in allowing students to spend the many hours required to create a handmade tile mural from “scratch.” All participants made a signature tile that is part of the mural and will serve as a permanent link to the school. As alumni, they will no doubt make the mural one of their first stops on return visits to the campus.
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STONE AND TILE MOSAICS
Artist in Residence
TILTON SCHOOL PAGE ONE

Tilton School 1

Student carving 5" x 5" linoleum square for imprinting tile.

Tilton School 1 

Eric Rattan demonstrates separating the
carved mold and wet clay slab (greenware).
 

Tilton School 1 

Student imprinting 5" x 5" wet clay tile slab (greenware). 

Tilton School 1 

5" x 5" greenware squares drying after imprinting. 

Tilton School 1 

Greenware border tiles drying. 

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