Zech Studio

Zech Studio Ceramic art and tile by artist Barbara Zech
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Open by appointment. Zech Studio is an independently owned and operated, fully equipped ceramic studio of artist and sole proprietor Barbara Zech; specializing in ceramic art and handcrafted ceramic tile for public art, home, or businesses. Projects include kitchen backsplash, fireplaces, and fine art.

Bullnose samples fresh from the tiny test kiln 🔥 these are hand crafted to conform to the radius corners around the door...
05/22/2020

Bullnose samples fresh from the tiny test kiln 🔥 these are hand crafted to conform to the radius corners around the doorways in the Bottleworks, to match existing pieces and replace the damaged ones.

Super busy day today...Started with a trip to the clay and glaze supplier, stop at the UPS store, then to studio to unload these tests, then to Bottleworks to deliver them, home for lunch, then back to studio to reload the Big Kiln with a bisque full of tiles.

This is why I’m only open by appointment😜
Some days I’m all over the place!

#hustlin #selfemployedartist #artbusiness #ceramicstudio #customtile #ceramictile #maker #historictilerestoration #tilereplacement #tilereplica #architecturaltile

This pattern is totally kooky and I love it! What were they going for? I’m trying to decipher a design concept. The burg...
05/20/2020

This pattern is totally kooky and I love it!
What were they going for? I’m trying to decipher a design concept.
The burgundy with that “bottle neck” layout above the doors must be referencing a full Coca Cola bottle with bubbles (the small mosaic pieces). But what about that field tile!? It is just wonderfully weird.
First pic shows glaze tests laid out on my studio table, second pic is the Lobby in Bottleworks with original 1920s-30s Art Deco tile.
Edited to add:
Santarossa Tile is doing the tedious onsite work of removing each of the damaged tiles in the building (wihout disturbing the surrounding pieces) and installing the replacement pieces. They have been great to partner with on this project!

Funny!And they're rendered so well!  https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news/this-chicago-artist-is-filling-potholes-with-s...
05/19/2020
This Chicago artist is filling potholes with stunning mosaics of toilet paper and hand sanitizer

Funny!
And they're rendered so well!

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news/this-chicago-artist-is-filling-potholes-with-stunning-mosaics-of-toilet-paper-and-hand-sanitizer-050720?fbclid=IwAR3Q_NoXatY0LlVPV2WjrHlP6-UrkcYaBPJSHholCMsmGMInNsDWreMMzn0

No matter who you are, where you're from or how much money you make, we can all agree on one thing: Potholes suck. For the past seven years, Chicago artist Jim

Today is World Labyrinth Day! Here are pics of a temporary earthwork labyrinth I did a while back. This was made in a co...
05/02/2020

Today is World Labyrinth Day!
Here are pics of a temporary earthwork labyrinth I did a while back. This was made in a community workshop I led, with mulch, unfired clay, and a ceramic sculpture in the center. I would love to do a permanent one of these someday, in a healing garden! But for now I just might have to get outside and do a quickie temporary one today :)
Info about the project:
“Centering” by Barbara Zech
This is a temporary earthwork, intended to erode as a mark of change in the cycle of time. “Centering” offers a place to pause for a moment, to connect with one’s self and with nature. The physical motion of walking a labyrinth balances the right and left brain, clearing the mind, to relieve stress, and spark creativity.
This design is based on the classical “three circuit” labyrinth, a two thousand year old symbol found in several cultures around the globe. Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you exit. A labyrinth is NOT a maze. There are no dead ends in a labyrinth and no need for high walls; it has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center and from the center back out.
This design is often used in healing environments, or even as a table top 'finger labyrinth' used before therapy sessions or creative ventures.

Hey! That’s one of my community tile projects at Indiana School for the Deaf on the Monon Trail ❤️🙌 ASL Tiles made with ...
04/23/2020

Hey! That’s one of my community tile projects at Indiana School for the Deaf on the Monon Trail ❤️🙌
ASL Tiles made with K-12 ISD students (2008-9) featured on the Indianapolis Greenways page. Tiles depict ASL Alphabet, numbers, days of the week, nature, and Deaf culture. Students hoped that people would stop and learn an ASL sign while you're on the Monon Trail!

ART ON THE GREENWAYS: Did you know that the Arts Council of Indianapolis has an online Public Art Directory for Indianapolis and surrounding areas? The directory includes many of the public art works along Indy Greenways. The online directory is searchable by location or greenway, artist, medium, or collection and includes artwork along the Central Canal Towpath, the Monon Trail, Fall Creek Greenway, Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Pleasant Run Trail, Pogues Run Greenway, White River Greenway, and the neighborhoods adjacent to the trails. You can check out the Public Art Directory at https://www.indyartsguide.org/public-art/

Indianapolis Parks Foundation, Indy Parks and Recreation, Indy Parks and Recreation Day Camp and Programs, Jump in for Healthy Kids, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions

I’m pleasantly surprised that a long time client contacted me about a gift for someone! How nice. I happened to have a f...
04/15/2020

I’m pleasantly surprised that a long time client contacted me about a gift for someone! How nice. I happened to have a few things on hand, like this nesting set of hexagon serving dishes. (Excuse the dirty clay table background)
If you need a Mother’s Day gift, or some shopping therapy for yourself, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local artist in your area. Your purchase could help a lot during this time when our freelance work / income is dried up. One small purchase can help an artist pay an electric bill or phone bill! #handmadepottery #nestingdishes #ceramics #slabpottery #handbuiltceramics #indykeepscreating

Ooh I love Motawi Tile!This design and color scheme is  similar to a fireplace I did last year, inspired by other Motawi...
04/14/2020

Ooh I love Motawi Tile!

This design and color scheme is similar to a fireplace I did last year, inspired by other Motawi works.

Here's a sunny kitchen to start your week off right!
https://bit.ly/franklloydwrightmarchballoonskitchen
#motawi #motawitileworks #franklloydwright #tilebacksplash #kitchengoals

Oh Hey! It’s #TileTuesday It’s eerily quiet at my studio these days. I’m glad to be able to keep working on this tile or...
03/31/2020

Oh Hey! It’s #TileTuesday
It’s eerily quiet at my studio these days. I’m glad to be able to keep working on this tile order for a construction project that is still in the works, for the time being. (Alone in my studio in isolation, as usual)
I’m sad for my neighbors in the mixed-use complex where my studio business is, many are salons / hair braiding businesses and were forced to shut down. I know it’s the best thing for everyone but it’s going to be especially difficult for sole proprietors to weather these changes!
#tiletiesday #selfisolation #studiobusiness #ceramictile #customtile

Currently on the work table #wip finally getting around to this order - a few handmade replacement tiles for a clients 1...
03/20/2020

Currently on the work table #wip finally getting around to this order - a few handmade replacement tiles for a clients 1890s Queen Anne Victorian home foyer.
The original tiles were made by AETCO American Encaustic Tile Co. that was a major producer of industrial tile from late 1800s thru 1940s. I come across their tile all the time, as their factories were in the Midwest. They made all kinds of tile, encaustic and ceramic, from tiny honeycomb mosaics to portrait relief tiles. 🤓 if you’re a big nerd like me look them up, their old catalogues have been digitized and are online! #aetcotile #historictilerestoration #handcarvedtile #handmadetile #historichomes

Next on the list...Black gloss glaze is fairly easy to find in 4” commercial tile, BUT is no longer made in the radius t...
03/11/2020

Next on the list...
Black gloss glaze is fairly easy to find in 4” commercial tile, BUT is no longer made in the radius that is needed to match the existing bullnose pieces in the 1930s era Coca Cola Lab. So I’ll be handcrafting some to replace damaged and missing pieces. And, making a handful of the b&w listellos (accent borders) for the hallway, that is floor to ceiling slabs of marble, with tile accents between slabs. #handmadetile #tilerestoration #historictilereproduction #blackandwhitetile #architecturaltile #ceramictile

Here's one for #FlashbackFriday and  #FireplaceFriday ! 🔥This Fireplace is a creative concept for a 'donor recognition' ...
03/06/2020

Here's one for #FlashbackFriday and #FireplaceFriday ! 🔥
This Fireplace is a creative concept for a 'donor recognition' wall, located in the Joy's House Library.
Handmade tile by Zech Studio, with capital campaign donor names impressed into the tiles. Designed in a tradtional Craftsman style pattern, in earthtone glazes to match the period of the original historic home that underwent expansion for Joy's House Adult Day Care.
#handmadetile #donorrecognitionwall
#craftsmanstyle #architecturaltile #fireplacetile

#ThrowbackThursdaySeems like a lot of my time is spent is sifting thru old images to apply for new opportunities (many o...
03/05/2020

#ThrowbackThursday
Seems like a lot of my time is spent is sifting thru old images to apply for new opportunities (many of these are from before I joined social media). Here are some samples of my work in healing environments...
St. Elizabeth Hospital, Lafayette, IN
and Community North Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
Pulling these together for interior design clients. If you have a need for permanently installed ceramic art keep me in mind!!!

Other pieces I have in healing environments include work in the Simon Cancer Center, Community North Cancer Center, Pawlus Dental, Joys House, and a hospital in Kenya!

More pics of a different room in the Bottleworks Indy restoration! I’m working on custom glazed, kiln fired tile, matche...
03/03/2020

More pics of a different room in the Bottleworks Indy restoration!
I’m working on custom glazed, kiln fired tile, matched to replace pieces in the second floor “Lab” where the bottle capping was done in the original factory. After renovations it will be a meeting room. As you can see there are lots of variations in the original 1930s green tile, so I’m applying the glaze in various coats to get that natural variation. The quick way to glaze tiles is dipping in a glaze, but sometimes you just have to hand brush them on to get the desired effect. These are taking a bit longer since I’m brushing 2-3-4 coats on over 600 tiles.
At some point over the past 90 years a BIG ole hole was knocked out of the wall for ductwork. That will be patched over with new tiles, along with other damaged areas. (Santarossa Tile guys are doing the onsite work).
You can see in the last pic, those metal bins built into the wall were used for bottle caps. The tile floor in this room has some corrosion pick marks from the Coke dripping on it in the bottling process!
I love that they are keeping these tile rooms intact, rather than gut and drywall them, which would be the cheapest way to fix it up. Historic Restoration for the win!
#handglazedtile
#architecturaltile
#customtile #tilerestoration
#tiletuesday

Nerd Alert! 🤓 great article about a classic maker in historic architectural tile. I’ve always admired the simplicity of ...
02/26/2020
Meet Ernest Batchelder, Southern California’s masterful tile maker

Nerd Alert! 🤓 great article about a classic maker in historic architectural tile.

I’ve always admired the simplicity of Batchelder tile, so warm and earthy. I was inspired by the earthy colors and explored ‘engobes’ when I first started dabbling with tile way back in art school.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I made fireplace tile for a client who brought me a picture of Batchelder tile in a design magazine featuring the historic Gamble House in Pasadena CA, a Greene and Greene designed Arts and Crafts home. They were straightforward terra cotta tiles with a subtle oxide stain.
(Dang it I need to find pics of that project!) 🧐

https://la.curbed.com/2020/2/24/21133607/batchelder-tiles-fireplace-house-biography?fbclid=IwAR0B2gFYqUtGi__ds4LpRyASm7JMjS2O1RPjqO9PyvKL1Usu58IEF8NKLbw

His beautiful tiles adorn many Los Angeles fireplaces.

The blues 4 ways 🌨☔️ 😬Stack bond, Offset (traditional subway style), herringbone, and basket weave Fun playing around wi...
02/25/2020

The blues 4 ways 🌨☔️ 😬
Stack bond, Offset (traditional subway style), herringbone, and basket weave
Fun playing around with these ‘Tiny subway’ handmade tiles 1/2”x2”

Flashback Friday!Pulling together images of previous work for a presentation, taking a stroll down memory lane. Custom h...
02/21/2020

Flashback Friday!
Pulling together images of previous work for a presentation, taking a stroll down memory lane. Custom handmade tile I did a few years ago for a bank executive office entryway. This fun design was an idea collaboration with the bank exec. and interior designer, coins are randomly scattered, as if dropped on the floor 😆

I'm happy to share this tile restoration project is in fabrication/production phase! This is the Coca Cola plant built i...
02/18/2020

I'm happy to share this tile restoration project is in fabrication/production phase!
This is the Coca Cola plant built in 1930s, soon to be the hotel lobby in the Bottleworks Indy multi use development.
I love the crazy color combination in this original Art Deco tile design! I'm thrilled to be part of such an interesting project. Meetings about this began over a year ago, so glad its coming together. I'll be supplying tile replicas to replace damaged or missing tiles. I'm trying to match the glaze colors and surfaces of these 100 year old tiles as close as humanly possible...they aren't a perfect match but as close as can get in the time we have spent on them. It has taken multiple test kiln firings to get where we are with the results. Its a mix of matte, satin, and gloss glazes in various colors. You can see some of my samples in the first pic, mixed with original tiles in a mock up layout. I'll share the progress in the coming weeks!

Compositions in Pink  🌸Sculptural wall piece and tile paintings by Zech Studio
02/14/2020

Compositions in Pink 🌸
Sculptural wall piece and tile paintings by Zech Studio

Happy Valentines Day! ...here’s a selection of warm tile samples from Zech Studio 🌸🌺🌹🌷☀️
02/14/2020

Happy Valentines Day!
...here’s a selection of warm tile samples from Zech Studio 🌸🌺🌹🌷☀️

RIP Sculptor Beverly Pepper ✊🖤I was inspired by her when I was studying sculpture in art school. She began as a painter,...
02/06/2020
Beverly Pepper, Sculptor of Monumental Lightness, Dies at 97

RIP Sculptor Beverly Pepper ✊🖤

I was inspired by her when I was studying sculpture in art school. She began as a painter, and was determined to pursue sculpture back when it was very much the "boys' club" (and still is in some ways).

An American artist who long worked in Italy, she created towering forms whose evanescence belied their giant scale.

Color Theory 🤓❤️🎨🟥🟧🟨🟩🟦🟪⬛️⬜️🟫
02/05/2020

Color Theory 🤓❤️🎨
🟥🟧🟨🟩🟦🟪⬛️⬜️🟫

Did you know the four X’s in this image are all the same color?

This fascinating print from Josef and Anni Alber’s groundbreaking work, the Interaction of Color, is currently held in Dartmouth Library's Sherman Art Library and is used to teach students the importance of color theory and behavior. During the 1960s, Albers and his wife artist Anni developed 150 silk screen prints that demonstrated how colors behaved differently depending on what color they were next to. These beautiful color prints have taught generations of artists a new way to think about color and how colors create different dialogues depending on the colors they are in close proximity with.

First published in 1963, the original volumes continue to be valuable teaching tools and works of art, and are now available as an interactive app where you can view the original plates and create your own interactions of color. Click the link to download: http://interactionofcolor.com/

02/01/2020

Warm Memories! ☀️❤️
Community mosaic mural I helped create and install at the Chronicle Care hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.
The image was designed by one of the Kenyan women in our workshop who is no longer with us (Rest in Power, Penny 💕). It depicts huts and landscape, mountains, and the red clay road of a rural village, intended to comfort visitors who come into the hospital from remote areas for treatment, as the high tech atmosphere can be very scary (scroll thru pics to see finished mural). I showed them how to combine a mix of handmade tile with broken recycled tiles, and how to use a grid method, and install a mosaic as this was their first time using this technique on such a large scale. We completed the entire project in less than 4 weeks! (making and kiln firing some pieces, breaking up other parts, laying out the piece, and installing and grouting it on site.)
Many hands make light work!!!

I'm using one of my pour-overs for coffee this morning, and I'm out of "#2 cone filters" (the smaller size for a single ...
01/24/2020

I'm using one of my pour-overs for coffee this morning, and I'm out of "#2 cone filters" (the smaller size for a single serve) so I'm using a full size basket filter, which kinda gets clogged in the hole and you have to tug on it to lift it up a little bit, and keep lifting it every so often as it drains, to get the water to drain through. So....Just an FYI- if you purchased a handmade pour over from me, they definitely work much better with cone filters!!! (paper or a reusable cone filter).
I included instructions with these pieces, but just wanted to share that the right style of filter does make it function better!
That is all, carry on with your day.
😀☕️

I haven’t been posting much yet this new year, but I’ve been busy in the studio testing glaze colors for historic restor...
01/18/2020

I haven’t been posting much yet this new year, but I’ve been busy in the studio testing glaze colors for historic restoration tile project, and building up quite a color reference library. Not quite ready to share my results....but this post really caught my eye and is super interesting! 🤓

If only glazes were as easy to mix as paint colors (glazes require kiln firing for every adjustment to see the finished result, whereas paints just need to dry).

Check out this stunning edition of Werner's Nomenclature of Colours from Dartmouth Library's Sherman Special Collections...

First published in 1814, Nomenclature of Colours was based on the work of the German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner. In his 1774 book Treatise on the External Characters of Fossils he developed a nomenclature of 79 colors to offer a standard with which to describe the visual characteristics of minerals. Three decades later the Scottish painter of flowers Patrick Syme amended and extended Werner's system to 110 colors. Syme described other animals and plants and provided hand colored examples for each description.

Darwin carried a copy of this book during his voyage on the Beagle and it was used by scientists and nature enthusiast to consistently describe the flora and fauna they were observing at a time before color photography and printing were widespread. The tradition of giving paint colors romantic names vs formula numbers or material descriptions (Cadmium red, lead white, manganese blue, etc.) may have developed from these early scientific guides!

This volume is part of Sherman’s collection of color theory books and is used in coordination with studio art classes and workshops.

Address

2060 E 54th St, Ste 10
Indianapolis, IN
46220

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Comments

Wow! Glad to see so many people lined up to support Small Business Saturday at Handmade Promenade ! Get ye to Mass Ave. And shop small! 🙌 Note - Zech Studio is NOT open today but you can find some of my handmade ceramics at the Handmade Promenade pop up shop downtown on Mass Ave, (shown here) and my work is also for sale at Inner Balance massage+bodywork and wellnes retail shop on 54th St. also open for Small Business Saturday!
💪✊ interesting....! Clay work is definitely physically demanding even with technology today.
Hi Barb, do you have any mugs for sale?
Love your ceramic works!
Hi Barb...FYI...If you know anyone, we have a full time Master Teaching Artist position at the Arc of Greater Boone County....I thought of you but I see you are going to Africa, etc.