One of my laser marked tiles was juried into the Medalta International Tool Show which opens on September 3, 2015 and runs until November 30, 2015 at the Yuill Family Gallery at the Medalta Historic site in Medicine Hat. I had porcelain tiles custom made in Jingdezhen and shipped to Winnipeg. When I couldn’t manage to get the large ceramic decals I wanted for the tiles, Michael Zajac (my art collaborator husband) had the idea of trying out the laser cutter, which sinters the laser marking material on permanently, just like in the kiln.

“The theme of this year’s Medalta International Exhibition is TOOL, an exhibition inspired by the processes and tools of our trade. This exhibition features works that were created using an artist’s favourite tool. Alongside their finished works are the artists’ reflections or odes to their favourite tool, giving viewers a glimpse into the processes and tools behind their object’s creation.Artists were asked to submit a piece and write an ode to the tools that were used to create the piece.” (medalta.org)

Firing a pinpoint 
ytterbium laser light 
the tiniest kiln

Porcelain forms were cast in moulds taken from tornado-ravaged living wood, and painstakingly embellished by hand. Peripheral photos of the porcelain tree forms, like inverse digital panoramas, become two-dimensional skins, like peeled bark. The images, as carefully calibrated halftones, are sintered onto large white porcelain tiles by a laser. The laser engraving table replicates the process of glazing and kiln firing, one tiny pixel at a time. The ancient processes are inverted. The glowing tiles remain a lasting memorial to the power of nature.

Thank you to the Winnipeg Arts Council for its support and to Medalta Tool Show juror Martina Lantin

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