A New Web Shop For My Fireproof Firebox Tile!

in #design2 years ago (edited)

Box Herringbone, custom color.jpeg
The first fireplace to have my Firebox Tile, installed in 2000 in Napa, California

A few weeks ago I posted about how sometimes an opportunity drops into my lap but it means scrambling a bit to make it happen.

Well I did it. I put everything aside and focused on sorting 18 years of photos and creating coherent content and within 2 weeks a new shop for my firebox tile was live! Perfect timing for my trip to NYC last week where I made this product a feature of my presentations to interiors and architectural firms who I would like to work with.


a very custom grouping of fireproof "rocks" I made for one
of Moberg Fireplaces' clients in Jackson Hole, WY, 2016

Have you ever noticed that there is often tile all around a fireplace and even on the hearth, but never inside? In the few cases you see tile inside a firebox, it’s only on the sides because tiles will crack and break if installed on the back and floor of a fireplace.

*William de Morgan tiles in Lewis Carrol's fireplace, image credit

In 2000 I created a fireproof ceramic tile that can installed inside the fireplace. It’s the only product of its kind in the world and in 2004 I patented it. You might think….hmmmm why can’t regular tile or stone or glass be used inside a fireplace? After all they are fired to higher temperatures than those of a household fire, right?

Grid, mix and match with blues, 3 x 3.JPG

It’s true, they are, and while ceramic, stone and glass can all handle very high temperatures, it’s the quick temperature changes that occur with a fireplace fire that cause the problems. Glass, stone and most tile will pop and crack. My firebox tiles however are stable even with quick and extreme fluctuations of hot and cold. The clay and glazes are both refractory* and can withstand the change from room temperature to 1600 degrees F in 15 minutes and then back down again in 3 minutes. When testing, I ran 5 cycles of exposing my tiles to this extreme thermoshock and finished each cycle by dropping the tiles into cold water. The tiles held up beautifully.

013 rfg_bathfirebox_sharonCT.jpga custom design for a bathroom fireplace in Sharon, CT installed in 2002

Over the past 18 years I’ve created many of these firebox installations and each one has been custom in every way. For my new web shop I’ve created a series of standard sizes and glazes to give customers easy access to ordering samples, seeing a color palette and imagining what they would like. They can even place their entire order online. Custom is always an option still, but this fundamental collection is a good place to start.

palette of glazes

This new website features a nice variety of inspirational images:

Running Bond, Charcoal, 1-1:4 x 7.jpeg

Contemporary firebox in Muttontown, Long Island, 2014

Herringbone, Sierra, 1-1:4 x 7 copy.jpg
1-1/4" x 7" Herringbone in Sienna glaze

Herringbone, Night, 2 x 4 copy.jpg
2" x 4" Herringbone in Night Glaze

There is a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions that answer everything from tile thickness, to timeline to how to plan for installation.


And a section on How to order your tile that guides the customer through the process of planning every aspect of their project. I've even provided specific instructions on how to measure your fireplace to determine the quantity of tile needed.

How to Measure sketch.JPGsketch accompanies accessible instructions

herringbone, Mottled Blue.jpeg

Of course, there are several designs and different sizes for each as well.

Landscapes, White, 4 x 4.jpg
4" Landscapes in White

Pinecone motif.jpg
Pinecone Motif

And another advantage of this webshop is that the pricing is clearly stated and this helps the customer consider their budget and determine which sizes and shapes best fit their price range.
Regarding price, my Firebox Tile compares well with other options to decorate the firebox such as this firebrick and another firebrick but nothing else out there offers rich colors, textures and such a huge variety of design options.

Running Bond, Ivory Stone, 2 x 8.JPG

The tile can be installed by any tile setter just like your kitchen backsplash, but a refractory fireplace mortar that acts like grout and thinset all in one must be used.

This website is already serving to provide an easy reference for customers and also is saving me the time of answering the same questions each time I have an inquiry.

*Refractory = a substance that is resistant to heat.
Herringbone, Mottled Blue, 1-1:4 x 7.jpeg
a herringbone design in Germany from 2006

As you may know from following my work on Steemit, most of my ceramic tiles are in the form of intricate mosaics, but I do have a few production products and this Firebox Tile is one of them. Stay tuned for posts coming up about the Pool House Mosaic process which is moving forward slowly but surely. And of course our PNW Steemit meet-up this Saturday.

Thank you for following and supporting my blog, you are making it possible for me to carve out a meaningful life!


Holy smokes girl, I had no idea that this could be done and I have never seen anything like this in my life. The projects that you showed us are remarkable and stunning. You are a true master of your craft!

thank you my friend, I always always always appreciate your kind support!!

This is beautiful artwork. I had actually no idea that you could do this with tiles. Wonderful idea. The fireplace in the bathroom in blue colours is amazing :)

Thank you so much @kerlund74! I really love that one too....it looks so beautiful on site and I really enjoyed making that design.

What? Wow. That's amazing idea. And yeah reflect that heat out.... Sweet.

Will have to talk to you about that one day.

Trying to get a tiny house and that might be my solution.

Hi @ganjafarmer! I imagine that even in a tiny house there will be room for a small amount of very beautiful tile!

I'd love a tiny fireplace. But we will see. And yes no space is too tiny to have nice things.

Incredible talent you have Ruth. If I ever get truly wealthy and get back into home ownership......I know who to call to make my house a home. Thanks for sharing! -Dan

:-) thanks Dan and it would be one of the more enjoyable projects I can think of to make some gorgeous tile for your home! I can imagine that you'll have so many sources of inspiration from the gorgeous places you've been.

Until then it's just my backpack and I!

Happy to have found you and seen this beautiful display of artistic functionality. Very impressive that you’ve discovered a way to include art into the fire chamber itself. I’m looking forward to more posts for inspiration for a rocket mass heater we will be building soon.

Fire meets art is where it’s at!

Thank you and I like how you put it and I agree "fire meets art is where it's at"!!
What is this rocket mass heat? Are you building an oven of some kind?

A rocket mass heater (my typo) is similar to a masonry stove (used for heating spaces). They are obviously massive (clay, stones, ceramics etc..) stoves used primarily for heating, although there are several variations (ovens and cook stoves).

The premise is to fully combust wood (including the gasses) and store that heat in a bench or bed for long heat radiation. The efficiency is up to 90% higher than conventional wood stoves. Unlike masonry heating they can be built economically and DIY. Plus they are all custom built so there's a lot of room for creativity. If you're into it, check out permies.com for more details or this link https://richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp. I think you'd really appreciate some of the artistically crafted and functional works that so many have created.

Oh yes I know of these!! In Europe they are known as Kachelofen and they are truly wonderful ways to heat a space. In fact, years ago I glazed the tiles made by another artist - now retired . He had the knowledge of how to make these since they need to have a special structure and shape for insulation. Here is a photo of the stove-bench for which I glazed all the tiles, it's in Maryland:

By the way, my sister is really into permaculture so I now am a believer too even though I haven't done much except be very careful about the farms I support. In any case, great to meet you!

I love these Ruth! Especially the one in Sharon. Makes me want a fireplace.
Do you get orders from all over the world?

Thanks @osm0sis, I love that one best too. It's in the most gorgeous woman's bathroom and one can lie in the tub in front of the fire.

I've had a few international orders from Germany and Israel but the shipping costs are kind of nuts so someone has to have twice the budget to handle that part of it.

Oh yeah I bet.
There goes my pretty fireplace dreams.

such a talented lady! I love your writeup on @ladyofsteemit's new post too! and Lucy is soooo cute! :D

thank you @beautfulbullies, we are mutual fans :-))

The pinecone motif is fantastic! And I really like the herringbone design above, though that might just be because there's a fire lit inside and it looks cool. I'm still in awe that you do mosaics. Thanks for sharing this amazing art form with us!

Thank you @katrina-ariel, yes the tiles are MUCH more lovely once the fire is lit for sure.

Your fire proof tiles are beautiful and amazing. From the picture above it gives the fire house a golden glow making it look magical. I can imagine lovers sitting infront of it, it will surely set the tempo. Nice invention @natureofbeing

The contemporary one is very handsome. It reminds me of the fireplace we had when I was a kid.

For me, the fireplace I grew up with was more like a children's playground. My mother even painted the bricks inside to be acrylic white. We never, ever had a fire inside the house. Probably my mother was worried about an accident happening with a large family, and she was always cleaning our messes. The house always had to look clean.

I really like the various glazes you offer. Do you ever paint glazed designs and leave some of the clay texture/color exposed?

thanks @creativetruth, interesting to hear about your playground fireplace which is certainly a valid way to enjoy that space too! I grew up in a house from the 1720s and there was one of those giant walk-in fireplaces with a bread oven and such. It was big enough to have a fire with a screen AND play in front of it safely.

And to answer your question, yes I often use the raw clay as a design element. For example, the photo above with the 4 white tiles called "4" Landscapes in white" - well the orangish color is raw clay without glaze and the reflection of the minerals during firing makes it amber colored.

Aha. I was wondering about that. Thanks for the reply.

Bravo! I admire you, darling @natureofbeing ! You are not only an artist, but also an inventor of such useful things. It is worthy of admiration. Good luck to you in all plans!

Thank you so much @anna-mi! Your friendship and support mean a lot!

Wow..@natureofbeing! You never seize to amaze me with your outstanding work and ideas! I've never seen this before, but I love it and I can't belive you invented this!! GENIUS! Hats of to you talented woman! :)

I almost blushed reading your comment, thank you so much :-)))

Oh my goodness, this is genius. I love tile and to think of the pattern and design one could have in a fireplace with these. Espeically in a Summer place where the fireplace is rarely used and often just a foil for seashells or plants arranged in it during the summer months, how lovely such a display would prove!

I hope you had a fruitful trip to NYC.

thank you @donnadavisart, you're so right, we all do all kinds of things to beautify the black hole of a fireplace space while it isn't in use!

It was a really good trip thanks!

Amazing designs 👏👏👏 have u ever used handmade ceramics? I can send u pics and even i can source them from middle east.
You can do custom design on them and they are fire proof too

I make my own handmade ceramics but thanks for the offer!

So that's your secret 👍

This is wonderful and it's been old but I see it again but now I have to have children and get close to the fire

beautiful, I loved it!!!!

Awesome, upvoted, follow and resteem

good to know about this web shoping and all the tiles are great and beautiful

I wish you a great success on your new web store! I suppose it will just be a matter of educating the public that tiling the interior is indeed an option! Once they know, I bet the orders will come rolling in! Seems like a genius idea to me!

thank you, I like that and hope you're right!!

The herringbone one really caught my eye. Once I have a house, I'll definitely consider this. Thanks for all of the wonderful work and information!


Thanks for your support @storybird!

Very cool product that you have created! I have family in Napa too where you did your first install. Stopping by from our Steemit Mastermind group to show some support. I AM very involved in the art of Self Mastery as well. Upvoted & following :)