How do you mix business with pleasure? A visit to Oceanside Glasstile... That's how!
Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Oceanside Glasstile is the worlds best art glass tile and mosaic fabricator. And while Tile Market has been Oceanside's exclusive Sarasota dealer for over 10 years, traveling to their home and seeing for ourselves what goes into this extraordinary product has instilled a whole new respect for their work. This is truly hand crafted glass tile.
Sure they use recycled product in the process and of course they minimize their environmental footprint, they're a socially and environmentally conscientious California Company :-) But the truly amazing thing is what happens after the glass hits the furnace.
Skilled artisans ladle out just the right amount of molten glass from the furnace. The glass already contains a color created from a secret blend of minerals and ingredients which borders on alchemy. With a flip of the wrist, the glass is deposited onto a platen onto which a mold descends. With just the right pressure, a patty of glass is formed which contains the desired shape. But the process is far from over.
Using a spatula which resembles a pizza makers peel, the patty is flipped to turn the pretty side up. It then goes into an oven to re-heat the glass and deposit an iridescent coating which fuses into the glass if desired. Another skilled worker then removes the patty from that oven and places it into an annealing oven.
This is a very important and time consuming step which is often skipped by the non-artisan copy-cats which country I will not name (think toxic drywall). In a process which takes hours of careful temperature control, the glass is allowed to cool at a rate which relieves the internal stress.
Lots of steps follow: The glass is inspected for quality control, it is scored, cut, snapped, and ground depending on the piece... All by hand. The mosaics are then hand crafted by patient, skilled craftsmen and women in custom colors and patterns created uniquely for each customer.
Unfortunately for you the reader, none of this amazing process was allowed to be filmed or recorded. They have been developing and refining their techniques for over twenty years and they are not anxious to give their secrets away!
What follows then is the fun side of our visit... The eating, drinking and socializing part and getting to know the folks at Oceanside Glasstile a little better!