Not many artists are as determined or as energetic as Houston Llew. Here at Two Plates Full we’re overjoyed to carry Llew’s work which is created for the soul. When you’re feeling low and are in need of a spiritual uplifting and all-encompassing new energy, you can look to Houston’s Spiritiles and immediately feel like dancing around barefoot…clothes optional. Battling the odds, Llew set out on a venture to create art during the recession of 2008. Six years later and with hundreds of inspired clients, his glass and copper art collectibles grace art gallery walls all over the United States. These one-of-a-kind tiles are created to tell stories and touch the spiritual side of every individual. (Dancing not required but highly encouraged.)
Starving artists are a rare breed. When you find an artist so dedicated to their vision that they’re sweating buckets in a hot garage or downing ramen noodles instead of hitting up Olive Garden, you know you’ve found some intriguing art. The beginning of Spiritiles is similar to many artists with a dream of making it big. Begin with Houston Llew, a young and ambitious artist working away in his garage in Atlanta. Add a vision to create something new and an imagistic theme and you’ve birthed Spiritiles. A man with “eternal optimism,” this young, naive artist proved hard work pays when his Spiritiles began to pick up traction and sell. With the goal to “create new art with a classic medium,” these mini works of art made of copper and enameled glass, tell a story and have quotes surrounding the sides.
Currently, Houston has experienced much growth as an artist and manages ten full time artists in a studio – a far cry from exhausting himself, losing ten percent of his body weight in sweat.
The Process…Tedious But Way Worth It
These inspirational tiles are every bit as beautiful as the long and tedious work it takes to produce them. Placing each piece for firing only once, the artist must apply the glass design perfectly or they’ll curl up in a ball and cry themselves to sleep and ruin the entire thing. Glass is applied using a stencil and super-human creative powers. The glass later reflects different layers. Embracing a non-traditional approach, Houston rolls a pin over the glass after it’s fired to create crazing marks in the glass. This process creates an intentional spontaneity and hand-made feel to the tile.
An Ever Evolving Story
You won’t find Spiritiles just anywhere. Houston himself seeks art and craft galleries that are life-giving and have “just the right blend of eclectic product, presence, and personality.” Spiritiles are sold in places filled with an enlightening presence and free-spirited fun! Two Plates Full is proud to be able to offer Spiritiles. When you see these Spiritiles you’ll immediately connect with them on another level!
Not holding back, these fine art tiles may evoke laughter, thoughtfulness or tears. All types of people collect these tiles to share their life story and remind them of special events in their lives. Each collection has all types of tiles that will hit a chord with every person who views them. “Shine On” is a great piece that depicts a little girl looking at a mason jar filled with lightening bugs. Deep purples and a yellow, starry background make this piece a perfect gift for a friend who loves all things summer. The quote that joins it on the side says “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Another collectable tile showcases spurs and has the quote “You think I’m high maintenance, wait ‘til you meet my horse.” Fun and quirky, these tiles are created to represent you and your family as individuals.
Once you purchase one Spiritile, you’ll have to buy several. Addictive and self-expressive, you’ll want the tile with a dog and a tile with your favorite perfume. You’ll run out of wall space and will have to begin hanging them outside on your back porch! Collector Meaghan Goodman is working on making her own gallery of Spiritiles in her home. With a chalkboard background, these tiles represent different people she knows, including her father who was diagnosed with cancer. The tiles offer hope and remind her of those she loves.
As for founder Houston Llew, he’s enjoying creating work that he had envisioned years ago and is busy supplying his work to galleries across the United States.