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Red Tile For Sale

 
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John



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 393

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:38 pm    Post subject: Red Tile For Sale Reply with quote

On E Bay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Signed-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-tile/253860716021?hash=item3b1b471df5:g:jakAAOSwdZdblXmx
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have recorded the image and the ad. A bit of provenance info might have gone down well . . . ?

SDR
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John



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 393

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Red Tile Reply with quote

Don’t know where it’s from.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3545
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See this thread for lists of works with the tiles made by Jeanette Haber and distributed by Taliesin in the late '50's to very early '60's:

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=3158&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=dacc08db92a5b9e0743535287e4e658c

or this Flickr picture page of red signature tiles:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/flwtiles/

The tiles have two distinctive "W"'s...one with a large swoosh at the end and another with a smaller swoosh....different batches?

I hadn't known a tile would have been just given to a visitor/architect admirer. The book inscription reads "To Donley".
Have any tiles at Wright sites gone missing?


Last edited by DRN on Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:58 pm; edited 3 times in total
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John



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 393

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Red Tiles Reply with quote

Yes, tiles have gone missing.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our previous discussions of the signature tiles I don't believe we delved much into the nature of the signature itself -- the two types of W, as DRN
notes, nor the actual impression of the signature into the clay.

We know or assume that Wright's hand never touched one of these tiles prior to its firing, glazing and re-firing -- is that right ? But no one has, I believe,
suggested that the marks were impressed by a stamp. Rather, the maker, or an assistant, scribed Wright's sample signature into the wet clay, one at a time,
making each signature unique.

Do I have the correct story ? Can the previous account of the people and the process be cited, again, ahead of further discussion ?

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3545
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On page 16 of the Red Signature Tile thread, Allen Green, Aaron’s son and the grandson of Jeanette Haber, posts about his recollections of the tiles. That post may address some of your questions.
http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=3158&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=225&sid=eef2e38c9c8a517a17023536cd3ded4d

From the thread:
Quote:
I don't remember much about the production of the tiles, but I remember seeing them scattered around my grandmother's (Jeannette Pauson Haber) workspace and that my father (Aaron Green) inscribed each tile with the FLLW initials. My grandmother made her own glazes and was a very good but not professional ceramicist. She had a small kiln, so I assume the tiles were not all fired in one batch, so there would be color variation.

Allan Green
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks; that brings me up to date.

So, we can expect that no two tiles would be identical. Still, as you suggest, there may have been two periods of production, between which the signature morphed to some degree -- assuming still that all were "signed" by the same hand ?

This (like many another aspect of the Work) bears further scrutiny. Perhaps some busy Arch Hist student is even now doing the research and writing the paper. . .

SDR
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wjsaia



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 216

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that the clay for each tile was first packed into a mold. The "floor" of the mold had reverse raised lettering that was produced from original lettering layouts that Aaron Green provided to Jeanette Haber and which she followed in making the mold(s). Yes, there must have been at least two molds to account for the two styles of signatures, particularly with respect to their respective Ws and slashes, that one finds in the signatures. But each of the two apparent productions consisted of multiple batches.

When the packed clay would be released from the mold, there often would be variation in the sharpness of the lettering impressions in it. Mrs. Haber would often go over the impressed lettering with a stylus so as to incise it more deeply and sharpen or, in some instances we see, extend it, in anticipation that the applied glaze would later fill the impressions to some degree that may have been difficult to control. Thus, variations of lettering can be discerned from tile to tile even though they came out of the same mold, and this includes different positioning and/or depth of the periods one finds following the Fs and LLs in the signature. Jeanette Haber lived with the Green family in Los Altos and had her ceramics studio on the grounds of the little family compound, so it is understandable that Jeanette might have called upon Aaron to inspect batches of pre-fired tiles. One would thus expect that he also participated in doctoring up the incised impressions of the signatures and punch in periods in individual tiles. This might be the source of Allan Green's remembering his father signing the tiles; Allan would have been about 4 years old when the tiles were made.

I believe I have seen one tile that mistakenly sports a period between the two Ls.

I have pondered which style of signature on the tiles might have most pleased FLlW. I take note that next to the entrance door to Taliesin West's Garden Room is a tile with the smaller, straight slash, and I'm quite certain that was placed there under Wright's supervision. The one outside the entrance to the studio at Taliesin, having the curvilinear "swoosh," was not present when I was there in the 1960s, so, with its placement coming later, it tells us nothing as to FLlW's personal preference. I think most or all of the ones in California were probably given to clients by Aaron, including the two at Marin County Civic Center, and most or all of these have the curvilinear "swoosh." There are various interpretations one might draw from these observations. This all is deserving of someone's intensive research and perhaps a doctoral thesis, wouldn't you think?

WJS


Last edited by wjsaia on Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I would think so . . .

Leave it to Bill to fill in the blanks in the story -- in spades. Thanks for that !

I certainly do not favor the signature with the somewhat awkward curved slash, so of course it is pleasing to learn that this feature might not have
followed Mr Wright's pattern.

My web host is not responding, so I have no access to postable images at the moment. There is a signature tile at the Fawcett house which bears
the curved tail to the W, while the tile offered above on an eBay page is of the other style.

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, the signature tiles strike me a something akin to, say, the Heritage Henredon furniture project: a sideline, suggested by someone other than the architect, and not a passion to be pursued with vigor.

Frank Lloyd Wright was a designer with a capital D. For an artist, his art is everything, and it's "enough to be going on with," as the British say. Yes, Wright recognized the value of publicity, and the urge never left him
even when he had more work than he knew what to do with.

But commercial furniture ? That he left it to apprentices to initiate the designs says to me that his heart wasn't in it. And as for the signature tiles, I'd love to know where that idea came from. Mr Wright took the trouble to
sign at least a couple of his early buildings -- there's a photo in Tafel of the "cornerstone" at the Winslow house. But by late in the career his buildings were his signature; there would be no need to attach a piece of kitsch
to them, something that would only distract from the work, not enhance it.

Or so it seems to me. I'll be happy to (once again) be proved wrong . . .

SDR
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