Symmetry Tile Works was founded in the early 2000’s by Robert Rossel and his wife, Kerstin. Robert studied ceramics at Luther College in Iowa in 1991 under Dale Raddiatz where he was influeanced by Marguerite Wildenhain approach to ceramics. Afterwards, he spent two years as an apprentice to one of Japan's top ceramic artist, Nomura Junji. While living in Japan he received training in classical Japanese ceramics and firing pottery with a wood burning kiln called a, Noborigama . Upon returning to the United States, Robert worked as an assistant to John Glick, a nationally recognized ceramic artist, in Michigan. By 1996, Robert settled in Epping, NH on the homestead of Governor Plumer. He built his studio, started teaching pottery classes for adults and juried into the League of NH Craftsmen. Robert met Kerstin, a fourth grade school teacher, in 1997. Soon, he began working in her classroom, teaching pottery to her students. Over the years, Rob found himself working with tiles, then creating large scale tile murals for public installations as an Artist in Residence and finally offering those tiles to for individual art pieces and then custom home installations.
Every process put into the creation of our unique work is done by hand; from extruding clay slabs to creating the composition and firing the pieces in our propane kiln. Every surface texture and focal image on the tiles is created by pressing objects into the clay body, utilizing as many natural objects as possible as printing tools. Wild growing flowers, plants, herbs, rocks, seashells, coral and barn board are some of our most common and successful. In addition, we’ve created a collection of wooden, pewter and rubber stamps of flowers, animals and sea-life to achieve the focal images. We have also casted sunflowers and daisies from our neighbor's beautiful garden.
After we have produced the clay slabs, pressed a composition and let the tile dry to green ware, we brush our handmade glazes and layer crushed, recycled glass onto the surface of each tile prior to loading the work into the kiln. Our tiles are not only unique in their appearance, but also in the world of ceramics itself.
Throughout the year we can be found selling our work at several art shows and craft fairs, including the Philadelphia Flower Show, The League of NH Craftsmen’s fair at Mount Sunapee, The Big E, and the Ann Arbor Street Fair, to name just a few. In addition to the art shows and markets, we have a beautiful new retail space in Epping, only about a mile from our production studio.
During the time between the various events we participate in and manning our retail space, we work in local elementary schools with our Artist in Residence programs. During these programs we direct the students in the creation of stunning full wall tile murals. The children get to step into our shoes and learn about every aspect of our process. The mural stays behind as a permanent fixture in the school. We also provide private clients with custom murals, back splashes and tile installations for their homes.