"It's no longer hip to be square!"
about the artist
Decorative ceramic tiles, custom hand made shaped tiles for unlimited possibilities are created here in beautiful Western NY... Ransomville, NY at the Tiles with Style studio.
Founder—Diane H. Holycross, Master Tile Artist of Tiles with Style, Ransomville, New York — Established in 1999
Welcome to my tile studio! I originally started making my uniquely shaped, mosaic ceramic tiles in 1999 when I was 40 and forced into it by fate, or should I say that it is my divine path.
tiles with style history
Like many of you, I couldn't find a color, or kind of ceramic tile that I wanted. Back in 1999, no manufacturer carried cobalt blue ceramic tiles, except for one pool tile company, and I couldn't find one purple tile, or any leaf tiles that weren't out of my price range. I didn't have an endless budget, but I also didn't want to settle for just anything in our new home.
"I like to keep my tiles affordably and competitively priced. I'm not intending on getting rich, I make a very modest living. Many artists make the mistake of over-pricing their work for the average consumer."
I couldn't imagine my husband Roger's and my dream house in Wyoming, that we saved for for 20 years, with standard boring square tiles.
Because Wyoming isn't exactly conducive to gardening, I also wanted to bring a little bit of my extensive Texas gardens with me. So, I purchased a 50 lb. box of clay from a local ceramic store, set up a drop leaf table in our living room, yes living room, and started making leaf tiles for our sunroom from leaves in my gardens.
When those tiles were complete, I moved on to our bathroom and made round ceramic tiles, and then kitchen tiles with herbs pressed into square tiles.
My friends in the telecom industry, where I worked at the time, were awed by my tiles. They kept telling me I should start a website. I said, "Really, I thought most people just used that for email and games. Plus, who would want my weird shaped ceramic tiles anyway?" Back then, the Web was just getting started.
The Tiles with Style Art Studio in Ransomville, NY...farm country.
When my husband Roger was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2006, we, and my decorative, handmade ceramic tile studio, moved "back home" to Western New York State, for my husband's cancer treatments at Roswell Park in Buffalo, NY. The original building (the center and back shed) was my Dad's old metal workshop, a gem in disguise. It was a treasure trove of scrap metals to Dad, but dirty, and in need of a major cleaning, and an massive update.
Originally, I had the left center section of the building. This was mainly because it was insulated. It was an entire 420 SF...a downgrade from my Wyoming studio...that left Dad with the remainder.
"If you're going to have art, it might as well be functional. At least that is what my very practical mind says."
As the years went on and Dad got older, his workshop magically got smaller and smaller, until it was all mine, mine, mine. Now don't think, "boy, that was mean, kicking her old Dad out of his workshop." Dad got moved into a much more organized, cleaner workshop in the garage near the house...a better/safer thing, he's in his 80's and can barely walk with a rolling walker.
I've done major insulating, added windows, electrical, repairs, and two additions to the studio. Now the indoor square footage is about 1200 SF and the outside, front and back, open-air, space is approximately 650 SF. I'm happier and Dad is happier to have a workshop much closer to the house.
"An important thing to remember...grout isn't something that keeps the dirt from falling between the cracks of the tiles, it is a part of being a "painter of ceramic tiles...it unifies the design."
things to consider
I like to integrate different things into my handmade, ceramic tile mosaics, such as ant hill gravel, pebbles, glass gems, etc. I feel that the grout is a key element in my designs. You can emphasize or de-emphasize the different shaped tiles by changing the grout color. Don't feel you have to use the same color grout throughout your entire mosaic designs.
The ceramic tile lily / koi pond shown below uses two color grout colors: tan and blue. Tan grout could have been used throughout, but it would strongly emphasize every tile in the mosaic tile floor. The blue grout helps unify the water, fading the round tiles, and emphasizing other key elements of the lily pond; the koi tiles, leaf tiles, lily pad tiles, and other tile elements.
"Don't settle for a neutral grout color. If you can't find a color grout you want...visit www.directcolors.com for grout/cement dye."
I'm 53 years old and have been working with clay as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I used to dig white clay out of the creek bank behind our house and would build small pots. Now I happily build timeless masterpieces that brings pleasure to many.
This lily pond ceramic tile floor is one of two pond tile designs — 320 SF of tiled ponds for the Seneca Nation of Indians that reside in Western NY State. More pictures of this mosaic lily pond tile floor can be seen under the Lily Pond/Seneca Nation link.
"There is so much beauty in nature. I always feel my best there. it really adds a lot of pleasure to a living experience to be able to enjoy the feeling of being outside all year around—not just when the weather permits."
Diane H. Holycross, a Ransomville, New York native & resident, has her art scattered throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe, in various applications and can be viewed throughout this website. She has also been featured in the Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine, Links Magazine, Poughkeepsie Journal, Women's Day, and others.
"I like to feel that the organic nature of my ceramic tile designs have a timeless beauty. Our leaf, water, and woods ceramic tile designs will never go out of style and lend endless pleasure to any viewing experience." Diane H. Holycross
My handmade tiles are not only made in the USA, but are made with products created in the USA. This includes glazes, kilns, clays, and more!
"The name pretty much says it all. You’ve never seen tiles and murals like these. Unique just isn’t the proper word. They describe themselves as making “quality craftsmanship, elegant designs, and custom colorations,” but you really have to see it to understand what an understatement that is. Murals take on all different shapes and seem to be of a world all their own. Floors are transformed into alligator swamps, walls become forest floors in the fall -- it’s truly amazing."