Month: June 2008

Julie’s Update – June 30, 2008

At Inglenook Tile Design, we are in the middle of lots of exciting changes and expansion of our products and our equipment!

New Product Development

This week and last, we are surging ahead with the development of our two new floor tile collections – the Castles and Abbeys Collection and the Old World Collection. Much of last week I spent deciding which designs to offer first, and then sizing them for the molds.

New Equipment

To make these new tiles, we needed a ram press, so about a month ago, I flew to Taos, NM to look at the press and arrange for the shipment to Pennsylvania after several months of talking with its former owners. There has been a lot of anticipation around here about having it running! Finally, last week, the electricians were here to run lines to our new ram press, and this week we are ready for the mechanic. Watch our blog for updates as we create the first samples of our new tile designs. We will also use it to make roof tile in the future.

We also ordered a much larger gas kiln from Bailey Ceramics last week, and can hardly wait to get it! This kiln will allow us to increase our production of tiles in the brown and deep red tones, the beautiful Providence, Mount Gretna, and Honeybrook color mixes (Read more about color mixes). The picture to the left shows an example of a Bailey gas kiln-ours will be much larger.

This new kiln will be easier to load and unload, and we won’t have to babysit it until 10:00 PM on the days we fire, like the one we have now. I should have bought a Bailey kiln last time! Several people would fit in the kiln we have, so I guess we could make a room out of the new one. We are also ordering a second electric slab roller from Bailey, so that we can add another line of making tiles (we love the one we have).

New Installations: Visiting Customers

Emily and I visited our customers, Walt and Tandy, last week, and pictures of their home are now posted on the blog under “Feature Project: Harvest Moon farms.” Walt and I pose for a picture with their floor to the left. Next week, we will be visiting another customer who has our tiles on both interior and exterior areas of his home. Watch for this blog posting and and maybe a video on YouTube.

New Veteran

Welcome to Tom – another veteran who started today. He recently returned, injured, from Afghanistan, and is on the road to recovery. We are happy to have him!

New Kittens!

On a personal note, Emily drove to Buffalo, NY, to pick up her two new Siberian kittens. They are regaling the family with their playful antics! Visit her breeder’s website. See the picture of our new little friends.

As you see, we are really growing here! Subscribe to our blog to keep updated on all the changes and our new products and pictures. As of last week, you can now subscribe to our blog via email or RSS. See the link on the right hand side of the blog.

Happy 4th of July! We hope you have a wonderful time with your families!

Best wishes,

Julie

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Feature project: Harvest Moon Farm

This past weekend, Emily and Julie went to visit Harvest Moon Farm, the home of some of our customers. The beautiful horse farm is tucked back in the woods outside Coatesville, PA, and we were lucky enough to have fabulous weather to photograph indoors and out.

Harvest Moon Farm’s home, barn, and windmill:

Harvest moon homeHarvest moon backyardHarvest moon barnHarvest moon windmill

A few of their friendly horses.

Harvest moon horses-distanceHarvest moon horse-closeup

Brick Tile Installation

The Harvest Moon farm installation used Wright’s Ferry 4×8″ brick tiles in Marietta color mix, across their entryway, into a powder room, and throughout their kitchen.

Below, Julie, Inglenook Tile co-owner, and Walt, the homeowner, in the kitchen. Walt told us: “We love it, love it, love it! People who visit just can’t believe how much it has changed our home.”

We start looking in the front door at the brick tiles, their herringbone installation pattern stretching out into the kitchen area at the far end.

Looking in the front door

Here, a close up of the floor and a pair of riding boots.

Brick tiles and riding boots

A side view of the entryway, the front door, and a lovely wardrobe.

wardrobe and brick tile entryway

Part way down the hallway, our thin brick tiles make a foray into the powder room, where a horse rug complements the thin brick flooring. Also, looking back into the hallway from the powder room.

Powder room with brick tilesPowder room sink

The powder room door, made of reclaimed wood from the 1700’s, has a notch in it to allow the home’s Jack Russell terriers free access. The door molding and wainscoting are both from fences at Harvest moon farm, reclaimed for the house when they were replaced outdoors.

Dog door and brick tiles

Next, we walk into the kitchen, where Julie admires the thin brick tiles.

Julie looks at thin brick floor

Several views of the kitchen toward the island and its Inglenook brick floor:

Harvest moon kitchen thin brick floorHarvest moon kitchen thin brick floor

The kitchen table, overlooking the backyard, barn, and pastures and a closeup of our thin brick.

Harvest moon kitchen table

Inglenook brick tile kitchen floor

Finally, the transition from the kitchen’s brick tile flooring to the dining room’s wood floor.

Transition from thin brick to wood flooring

Thank you so much to Walt and Tandy for inviting us to visit your home. We’re so glad that you are pleased with your Inglenook Tiles!

This Week at Inglenook Tile

This week, many of you have asked us when our new floor tile collections will be ready.

The first tiles in the “Old World Collection” and the “Castles and Abbeys Collection” will be added to our line by the end of the summer.

  • The Old World Collection will feature repeating floor tile patterns, all with an historic look and feel, but made in the “new world” – here in our Pennsylvania warehouse.
  • The Castles and Abbeys Collection will include reproductions of ancient tile floor designs.

Is there anything special you would like us to make?

Let us know.

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We are excited to be visiting a customer tomorrow, and will take photos of their Inglenook brick tile floor.

Watch for this new “Feature Project” to be posted on our blog next week!

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Welcome to Adam – another great worker from the Coatesville, PA Veterans’ Hospital Work Restoration Program. His started Wednesday, and is assisting with the kilns, sanding edges of tiles before firing, and packing boxes. Soon he will learn to make the tiles.

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Providence color mixWe sent an armload of postcards out last week, with a glossy picture of our new Providence mix tiles. If you are on our mailing list or if you have sent through a contact form on our website in the past, you should receive it soon!

Not our mailing list? Join by emailing us your address at info(at)inglenooktile(dot)com or sending through a contact form on our website.

Our mailing list members receive special postcard updates and the latest installation pictures.

Enjoy your weekend!

Best wishes,

Julie Good-Kruger and Emily Kruger

Owners, Inglenook Tile

New Blog Features

We recently put up several new interactive features on our blog and are excited to share them with you!

Chat with Us

If you have questions as you browse our blog or visit our website, ask them in the “Chat with Us” box on the right hand side of the blog. I (Emily) will be manning this chat feature during regular work hours and am looking forward to answering your questions or just shooting the breeze :-). This chat feature is private–other blog visitors cannot see what you are typing, so there are no silly questions!

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Subscribe

You can now subscribe to our blog by clicking on the one of the links under “Subscribe to our Blog” (on the blog’s right hand side) or on the RSS link directly below this paragraph. This feature allows you to get updates from our blog without needing to check back all the time, similar to a news feed feature from CNN or another news source on your email account homepage. Choose Bloglines, My Yahoo, Google, My AOL, Live Bookmarks or My MSN as the platform for receiving these updates.


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Find great links at Del.icio.us

I just started gathering bookmarks that you might find useful or just plain interesting on Del.icio.us, the social bookmarking website.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it (we hadn’t either until just recently), social bookmarking is a great tool for sharing the websites you like with your friends and family. Simply join at Del.icio.us and start adding your favorite websites, articles, blog entries, etc. to share with others. You can find lots of interesting websites that you may have overlooked using search engines by browsing the bookmarks of like-minded people. Fun!

To see our tile and historic building links, visit Emily_at_Inglenook_Tile. These bookmarks are still in progress, so add “Emily_at_Inglenook_Tile” to your del.icio.us network to keep updated on new links. I’m interested in seeing your bookmarks, too!

For those of you who like our blog, add Inglenook Tile to your del.icio.us bookmarks or another social bookmarking site. Several popular options are given at the right hand side of the blog. Linking to us helps other tile or historic home enthusiasts find our blog and website.

Part of another social bookmarking network? Leave me a message in the Chat box and I’ll join that one next.

Welcome to the Inglenook Tile Design blog!

Welcome to our new Inglenook Tile blog! We will be sharing useful information and our enthusiasm for historic buildings, innovative design…and our handmade brick tiles.

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Who would ever think thin brick tile could be so exciting?

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When we started our company in our front hall five years ago, we didn’t know how many people would share our high standards for an authentic-looking antique brick floor. When we attend trade shows, people rush into our booth and exclaim, “This is exactly what I have been looking for, and could never find!” Our customers call to tell us how great their projects look. They send us pictures — and also their friends. The relationships we have built have been a wonderful part of our Inglenook Tile journey.

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It has also been exciting to grow our business, as our lives have become infused with the life of our company.

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In the last 5 years, there have been many changes. From the first production at our home, we moved it to Veterans’ Industries, a work facility of the Lebanon, PA VA Hospital. Our tiles were made by veterans in rehabilitation at the hospital. When they closed Veterans’ Industries, we moved our equipment to a warehouse in Kinzers, PA. We made some of the tiles here, and some at a factory we trained in Asia.

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Last year, we stopped importing, and began making all of our tiles here in Pennsylvania. We are proud to be again employing veteran workers, this time from the work restoration program at the Coatesville, PA VA Hospital. We continue to add equipment and to enlarge our work space. Recently, we acquired a big old tile press, and will be using it to create additional floor tile designs…maybe even some historic-looking clay roof tiles.

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We keep raising the bar on ourselves, by both improving our ability to produce and by adding new colors and designs. Tell us what you are looking for! We are always listening to you and your suggestions, and most of our new products have been added at your request.

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As we grow and change, we will be keeping our blog updated weekly. Watch for information on an upcoming article in Architectural Digest, showing one of our floors in a renovation. A project in Philadelphia recently received the Preservation Alliance award for the renovation of an historic row home – and our brick tiles are in the kitchen! We are proud to have been a part of these projects.

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How can we do better? Call us with any ideas of what you would like to see covered on our blog, or any tiles you would like to see us offer. Visit often for new postings, products and ideas!

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Visit our website: www.inglenooktile.com or call 717.442.0514 for more information.

Introducing Color Mixes!

In our past 5 years of business, we’ve noticed that customers order similar color combinations for our brick tiles. We’d ask: “Do you want wood ash? How about some black or fire-scorched tiles? Any white? Or do you want them more plain? Are you interested in more red or more brown tones?”

The number of choices seems daunting, yet time after time, our customers settled on the same handful of color combinations. In order to simplify the selection process, then, we’ve organized these common choices into “Color mixes.” All color mixes are available on all styles of our brick tiles. Indeed, in the color mix photographs below, 4×8″ Wright’s Ferry, 4×8″ Traditional Antique, 4×8″ King Street, 7×3.5″ Summer Kitchen, 7.5×3.75″ Rutherford, 2×8″ Lancaster Running bond, and 2×4″ Flemish bond brick tiles are all pictured (see brick tile types in parentheses).

Each color mix is described below, named for a town in central PA. Click on photos to enlarge.

Interested in samples?

Visit our website: www.inglenooktile.com or call 717.442.0514 to request them.

Marietta: Marietta color mix embodies the classic color combinations of Inglenook brick tiles. Wood ash and blackened tiles complement our standard brick red colors to achieve the ancient appearance of antique brick. (Wright’s Ferry)

Old Strasburg:Named for the salmon tones of the brick homes in historic Strasburg, PA, the Old Strasburg color mix stays in the warm red tones of our standard brick tiles. (Lancaster Running Bond)
Old Strasburg color mix
Elizabethtown: Elizabethtown color mix combines equal amounts of the standard brick red tone with the blackened look of our “fire-scorched” tiles. (Traditional Antique)

Honeybrook:Honeybrook combines the best of our brown, earthy tones. Brick tiles from gas kiln reduction firings are added to browned-standard bricks and sprinkled liberally with wood ash to achieve this antique look. (Summer Kitchen)

Honeybrook Color mix

Providence: From the belly of our new gas kiln, Providence is the newest color mix for our brick tiles. With natural hues created by a reduction firing, the Providence is a rich spectrum of browns and earthy reds, burnt deeper along the bricks’ edges as though exposed to open flame. Luminous white tones on several tiles in each box complete this historic look. (King Street)
Providence color mix

Mount Gretna: Mount Gretna color mix contains the palettes of Providence color mix, but without the white tones for a deeper spectrum of earthy brick colors. (Rutherford)

Mount Gretna color mix

Savannah: Savannah, as the only color mix named for a town outside central Pennsylvania, honors the stately brick homes and riverfront buildings of Savannah, GA. Savannah celebrates the chipping white paint adorning many of these tiles as well as those found in other areas of the South. Savannah is typically mixed with our standard brick red tones. (Lancaster Running Bond and Flemish Bond)

Savannah color  mix

Clinker: The Clinker color mix originated for our 2×4” Flemish bond brick tile. Clinkers were used in brick buildings in the 18th and 19th century in the classic Flemish bond pattern. Originating from Dutch klinckaerd, the word literally means “something that clinks” (referring to the sound produced when one was struck). The brick firing process burned the ends of bricks closest to the heat creating very hard, darkened clinkers with a slight sheen caused by melting sand. Our Clinker Flemish Bond brick paver designs capture this burned effect for historic flemish bond patterns and other decorative brick veneer installations. They are typically mixed in with other Inglenook tile color mixes. (Lancaster Running Bond and Flemish Bond)

Clinker color mix

Feature Project: “Primitive Hall”

Every now and then, we plan to pick out a special project and feature it on our blog. This is the first of these posts. Click on images to enlarge.

Primitive Hall exterior

This “New Old Home” project is a historic reproduction of a building called “Primitive Hall.” The home is located in Chester county, Pennsylvania, an area steeped in antique homes and historic sites, such as Valley Forge, where Washington’s troops weathered the winter in the Revolutionary war. Like many of our customers, this family loved the look of an old home but wanted to avoid the constant maintenance often associated with them. Inglenook Tile was their choice for several areas of their home, including in the sunroom, dining room, and hallway and on a custom kitchen backsplash.

The first picture captures the sunroom where”Traditional Antique” 4×8″ brick tiles are installed in a classic herringbone pattern. Primitive Hall has “Old Strasburg” color mix for all its Inglenook brick tiles.

Sunroom

From the sunroom, the brick tile flooring moves into the dining room. The graceful transition between herringbone pattern and the dining room’s running bond is marked by a step.

Transition to dining room

Inside the dining room, the antique corner cupboard and table set complete the authentic historic appearance.

Dining Room

Outside the dining room, the “Traditional Antique” 4×8″ brick tiles continue into the hallway.

Hallway

Inglenook Tiles also find their way into the kitchen, taking a prominent place on the stovetop backsplash. The custom backsplash design uses 4×4″ brick toned tiles bordered by 2×2″ tiles. Our Vegetable accent tiles, taken from antique German candy molds and glazed in “Fern” glaze, punctuate the design. The image below shows a close up of the backsplash design.

Backsplash design

Visit our website: www.inglenooktile.com or call 717.442.0514 for more information.