Artist of the month David Baldwin

This months artist of the month is David Baldwin. David is a tile installer. You might think that I am really reaching here, but after you see his work you will call him an artist. Most of his clients call him an artist when they have worked with him. I spoke to him by phone this morning and asked him some of the following questions.
1. What tile do you like working with? The natural stone is his favorite. He goes through the tiles to pick out the different shades. He then finds out from the home owner the preferred shades and then works them into the design.
2. Do you have freedom in the designing process? Most of his clients have an idea of what they want and what kind of tile they want to use. Most of the time he can tweak the placement and the shades of color to get the best look for that job. The clients have pretty specific ideas but he can make little changes.
3. When working with different shapes and shades of tile, how do you decide where each piece goes? He works with the client and lays out the tile in the best possible way. He likes the meticulous kind of work with the smaller tiles and multiple shades.
4. Have you done any work with glass tiles or back painted glass? Yes the glass tiles are becoming popular for accents and borders. So are the natural stone. It takes some special precautions when working with the glass tiles but he likes the flow better with corners. The smaller glass tiles can be fit around corners better than the larger tiles. Borders at eye level are very popular among his clients. He did a shower for a client that wanted a earth, fire and water theme. They used a tumbled blue tile for the walls. The tiles were different shades of blue and made the walls look the ocean. It fit the theme perfectly.
5. Do you like to work alone? No. He said he likes to work with other people. Sometimes it is best to have a master mind group to bounce ideas off of. The collective experience that it brings to the table helps to avoid mistakes. He can bring his experience from other jobs to get the best fit. Knowing the things that have gone wrong before helps him to avoid problems with new jobs. He said that he sees things in graph style. This allows him so see how the tiles will fit before they are on the wall. He enjoys the harder jobs with smaller pieces. It gives him more satisfaction on the meticulous jobs.
6. What is the most important thing about a job? It is the focus. Where does the client want the focus to be. It could be the floors or the walls around the sink or the shower. He had a client bring him some old bricks that he used on a back-splash. He said it turned out well and looked like a wall from a park in Europe. The overall tile job in a house full of tile takes more planning if the focus changes for each room. Some tile jobs are the same tile through the entire house. It is the opinion of the writer that it lacks both creativity and focus.
The most interesting thing came not from a question but from a comment. He said that people are going to far off vacation spots and then remodeling their bathroom to resemble the spas and resorts they have visited. The first photo and the reason for this interview. The home owner wanted his shower to have a spa feel. I have installed 100’s of showers and this is the coolest one I have seen. I liked it so much I had to make David my Artist of the month. The skylight over the shower makes a huge difference. The natural light shines directly on the shower. I think this makes a difference. The last photo was taken with the lights off. The natural light on the tile design grabs you the moment you walk in. I think the home owner should feel like he is stepping into a “spa”. Take a moment to look at the Hudson and Rolf website. If you are interested in a tile shower in the Kansas city area, you can contact them directly. The shower door was installed by Hutton Glass ProductsClick on the photos, Then click on them again to see full size. For back painted glass, check out my web site

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