If you’re looking for a way to infuse your home with inspiring, positive energy, and you enjoy uplifting, meaningful, creative works of art, then Houston Llew Spiritiles are right up your alley. This unprecedented collection of extraordinary art tiles is still relatively new to the art world, though its reputation is spreading rapidly. These unique, highly collectible works of art are beloved and prized by aficionados, collectors, and other discerning individuals with impeccable taste. The novel art concept features tiles that are both delicately forged and sturdy enough to withstand the test of time, presented in a way that allows you to create your own custom, personal story that is sure to inspire you each time you look at it.
Who Is Houston Llew?
In 2008, Houston Llew was a relatively recent Auburn graduate whose career was abruptly cut short during the crushing, nationwide economic downturn. Unemployed and unenthusiastic about his prospects for returning to the corporate world, Houston happened to strike up an acquaintance with acclaimed American enamel artist Zingaro, and he developed an interest in enamel. Eventually, Zingaro shared the secrets of this ancient art form with Houston.
Houston spent the following months sketching, experimenting, and starting over. Throughout this time, he continually referred to a number of inspirational quotes that motivated him to continue pursuing his passion for art and for the vitreous enameling process in particular. After many hours spent laboring over a hot kiln in a small Atlanta garage, Houston created Spiritiles as a way to incorporate these inspiring and provocative words into the beautiful, time-honored artistry of the vitreous enameling process.
What Are Spiritiles?
The best art, particularly for display in your home, is art that speaks to you in some way, and Spiritiles were created with that in mind. Each Spiritile is a unique piece of art that is designed to evoke a feeling or memory in the viewer.
A Spiritile is a vertically oriented rectangle that measures 8.5 inches long, 5.25 inches wide, and 1.75 inches deep. The edges of each tile feature a quote that was carefully selected by Houston Llew to uplift, inspire, and call to mind our most beloved people, cherished moments, and deep-rooted dreams. The face of each tile features an image that complements the quote, crafted in intriguing, luminescent vitreous enamel, with layers of colored glass heat-fused to the copper tile.
Which each Spiritile makes a definitive standalone statement, the tiles are designed to mix and match, allowing you to create a customized personal collection that represents your unique journey and speaks deeply to your soul.
How Are Houston Llew Spiritiles Made?
The art of vitreous enameling is created by using metal as a canvas and colored glass as paint, heat-fusing the materials together in a kiln to create a magical piece of art that will never tarnish or fade. In fact, vitreous enamel as an art form dates back as early as the 13th Century B.C., and the excavated pieces remain vivid and luminescent to this day. Vitreous enamel has been used throughout history, perhaps most notably by Carl Faberge in creating his world-famous Faberge eggs.
Each Houston Llew Spiritile is lovingly handmade in Houston’s Atlanta studio. Powdered glass is sifted onto a copper tile using a series of stencils for each color. The design is further refined and carved out using special tools (and even playing cards!) until it perfectly reflects Houston’s vision. Once the layers have been carefully placed and aligned, the tile is gently placed into a red-hot kiln, where the heat fuses the layers together. The high temperatures give each piece a sort of inner glow and result in fine cracks on the surface. These fine cracks make each Spiritile unique, as no two tiles have identical marks or cracks.
How Should I Display My Houston Llew Spiritiles?
Spiritiles are stunning when displayed alone and even more stunning when displayed as a group. These surprisingly sturdy pieces can be hung on a wall — Houston recommends using 1.25-inch drywall screws — or stand on a flat surface. In other words, the way you choose to display your Spiritiles is as unique as the tiles themselves, and as unique as you are.
Do Houston Llew Spiritiles Make Good Gifts?
Spiritiles make excellent gifts! The subjective nature of art can make gifting it a risky business. Spiritiles, however, can be ideal for memorializing a shared memory or commemorating an important moment or milestone. Their brilliant images, thought-provoking sentiments, and unique format make Spiritiles ideal gifts for many occasions.
Each Spiritile is beautifully packaged with presentation in mind. Inside the designer gift box, you’ll find not only the Spiritile itself, but also a biography of the artist, literature about the tile, and a complete catalog containing all the currently active Spiritiles.
How Many New Spiritiles Are Released Each Year?
Each year, Houston releases four new Spiritile collections: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each seasonally-themed release typically contains three to six tiles. There is also a special Holiday tile created each year, which is generally available from November 1 to December 31. In addition, special and limited-edition releases occasionally occur throughout the year.
With each new collection that is released, some Spiritiles are also retired. Houston retires certain tiles because he plans to revisit that tile’s concept in a new way in the future. He also believes that retiring some Spiritiles each season allows the entire Spiritiles collection to remain relevant and evolving, just as our memories and cherished moments continue to shift and evolve. Retired Spiritiles typically increase in value, especially as they become rarer and more difficult to find. Some retired tiles have sold for six times their original retail price or more. In other words, if you fall in love with a particular Spiritile, buy it now! It could cost quite a bit more after it’s been retired.
If you’re ready to infuse your home with positivity and start creating your own gorgeous, inspiring collection of Houston Llew Spiritiles, be sure to visit The Giving Tree Gallery’s online store, or check us out in person in Sarasota, Florida.