Unique Bermuda Art On Gloss Decorator Tiles

December 19, 2014

If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts with a truly Bermudian feel – such as a little Bermuda onion, a sleeping Gombey, a juvenile humpback whale, or even a green moray eel – the art portfolio of author and illustrator Joan K. Aspinall has you covered.

Ms. Aspinall has taken images from her books and turned them into high gloss decorator art tiles, making for ideal collector’s items and presents for mailing to friends and family abroad.

Aspinall art

“The art images jump out of the pages of my books,” said Ms. Aspinall. “Lovers of illustrations in Goodnight Bermuda and Bermuda in Art can now have this art as a permanent decorator’s item in their home instead of in the pages of a book.”

Ms. Aspinall explained that one set includes most of Bermuda’s reef fish, including cow pollies, Spanish hog fish, rock beauties, and barracudas, which are featured in her new book to be released next year, entitled Hello Fish.

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She mentioned favourite designs for the local market, including Tuppie’s house from her Shoo Cat Shoo book, an image of a pink cottage, flowers, and a black cat, suggesting that all would delight a child or any adult who loves Bermuda’s architecture and hibiscus.

Her Moongate Moons, one her most popular paper prints, is magical, she said. “And who wouldn’t want a smiling Bermuda Onion to warm their heart not just at Christmas, but all year round?” she asked.

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“I separated which designs I thought appropriate for the tourist market, and those that show an aspect of Bermuda’s heritage, such as onions and Gombeys,” she said.

Her works include one image, entitled I Am An Island, taken from a large painting she did for a Bermuda Art Centre exhibit. “This is my favourite piece,” she said. “It is an attention grabber. It makes a statement.”

She described the image as a surreal, bluish tinted woman with skin of Bermuda’s flora and fauna floating on a black sea. “Child of creation, spawned in an ocean, she is protector of flowers and fish, and her name is Bermuda. She is beautiful.”

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The tiles are broken down into several categories, including underwater, whimsical, scenic, and artistic. Images are individually printed on 6×6 inch high gloss ceramic tiles which have an attached backer allowing for hanging or displaying on a flat surface. “Each tile takes eight minutes to print,” said Ms. Aspinall.

“They are labour-intensive, exclusive items, unlike the horde of imported, ceramic souvenir tiles flooding into the island. And they are certainly not trivets for the kitchen.”

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Ms. Aspinall stated that the reproduction of her art in this format produces outstanding results. “The colours are electric,” she said. “The high gloss surface and the strong dyes used in printing impart another dimension to the image, as opposed to a print on a paper surface, which absorbs inks.”

This summer was one of trial and error in the production, but now Ms. Aspinall says the tiles are ready to go and will be a commodity for next year’s tourist market.

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The tiles are available through Brown & Co. in Hamilton, the Craft Market, Bermuda Art Centre, and Hand Made in Dockyard, with a selection also shown online.

She also has her fish designs printed on 12×18 metal sheets in the current BSOA exhibition, and a sample of framed tiles in the Miniature Show at the Bermuda Art Centre in Dockyard.

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“I have 36 designs, so unfortunately no outlet carries the full collection,” said Ms. Aspinall. “Customers wanting to view the full range can contact me at pina@ibl.bm.

“We print to order and do not carry extra stock on any item. The tiles are signed and dated on the back and I can offer personal dedications.”

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Ms. Aspinall will be at Bookmart, signing her books and showing tiles, on December 19 from 12.00pm through 2.00pm, Dcember 20 from 1.00pm through 3.00pm, and December 23 from 1.00pm through 3.00pm.

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Comments (6)

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  1. sage says:

    Very beautiful.

    • Joan K. Aspinall says:

      Sage – Thank you. Appreciate comment. Please see the originals sometime.

  2. Micro says:

    Imagine all of Hamilton being painted like that?

    I bet that’ll get tourists here, they want something truly unique and exotic, something they can’t get anywhere else in the world. Lets be honest, we don’t offer that in todays market, we’re not the gem a short hop away anymore.

  3. Dangel says:

    Great idea and beautiful! Great purchases for visitors and Bermudians. I always purchase things Bermudian in various forms.What’s the cost?

    • Joan K. Aspinall says:

      Dangel – Thanks for the nice comments The 6 x 6 tiles are $35.00 ea. and there is a selection of 4 x 4 as well in Dockyard. They are packaged in vinyl boxes and can be mailed in padded envelopes.Each tile has a sturdy backer for hanging or displaying on a flat surface. Today I will be at Brown’s from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and will be giving one of my books with each purchase of my items carried in the shop — books, tiles, Christmas decoration–so a good time to buy a tile as you receive a $16.00 book value as a gift from the author. Tuesday, I will be in Brown’s from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.