February 13, 2018

Kelly Wearstler Translates Playful Patterns Onto Ann Sacks Tiles

Four times is a charm for Kelly Wearstler and Ann Sacks, as the surface specialist reunites with one of its brightest stars. More than a charm, this collaboration is a Gem—the sobriquet for a tile series that underscores the lasting craftsmanship of encaustic. Cement, sand, ground marble, and pigments are mixed by hand and then fired, the inlaylike pattern created not by glaze, but by a collage of different clay colors. Exploiting the age-old technique in an “altogether modern way,” Wearstler translates her signature motifs and unexpected patterning into 8-inch-square tiles. Classic with an abstract edge, Elope “celebrates the soulful anomalies of organic form,” she says. Evoke recalls the swirling face of marble with a dual-tone field reminiscent of linocut prints. Swell is a “painterly stripe of radiating curvatures,” deceivingly simple until repeated, when it explodes into playful geometry.


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