Ephraim Faience Pottery Tile,
6×6″ ceramic, c. 2001
My husband and I had finished touring The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Morris Plains, NJ, when we found this tile on a wooden shelf in the gift shop.
The moon caught my eye, luminous through the tree branches. Picking up the tile, the weight like a book, a volume of wonders. The glaze drizzled over the sides, and the back was rough earthenware, with a potter’s mark imprinted in the curving shape of a tree.
Every year my husband and I celebrate the anniversary of our first kiss, on the first full moon of April, and this tile resonated. The moon was both revealed and hidden behind the tree. The other trees are raised from the surface, and make a curtain to either side. The variegation in the green glaze enchanted me, as did the contrasting sky, moon and trunk, each like a small pool of glaze.
I was beginning to recognize my love of creating art as something relevant to my life, and knowing someone had made this tile was inspiring. Though the work is evocative of the Arts and Crafts movement, the company began in 1996. Several years later, my mother and stepfather moved to Ephraim, WI, and only now did I discover that one of the original founders of the pottery had family from Ephraim.
The tile has moved with us several times, and reminds me of how art can connect with the soul.