Meet Parran Collery : Tile Art

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Ceramic artist Parran Collery works in the medium of tile and creates pieces designed for the wall. Individual tiles and clay parts are put together with masonry materials, creating a single design in terra cotta clay. Grout lines echo the rhythm of images; a sense of space is affected by the gentle carving. Rich deep pools of saturated color create a sense of respite. The imagery – birds, flora and fauna, pattern scraps – pulls the many pieces into a single story.

Parran founded her studio in Southern Maryland in 1997, an area that still has working farms, woods and forests, both the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay as places to explore. She is curiously interested in the ordinary things she see every day: birds, leaves, flowers, bugs, rural vistas, all aspects of nature. These become the starting points for her designs, further inspired by art history, especially Japanese prints and Arts and Crafts aesthetics and patterns.

“My work often takes the form of small intimate tiles or larger mosaic style pieces. I will roll out a slab of clay, and begin an additive sculpting process to create a low relief sculpted design. This technique is rooted in the Arts and Crafts tile movement and more historically in the simple tile production methods of the Middle Ages in England. The pieces are fired multiple times with glazes that are my own unique formulas, bringing an intense lushness and sense of depth to my artwork.”

Parran strives to create compelling designs that invite the viewer to slow down and contemplate her art, and by extension their own backyards, making our sense of the everyday more precious and profound. In the words of Rachel Carson: “Drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of everything you see.”


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