Each Spiritile is carefully handmade using a series of intricate stencil techniques. From the beginning, Houston’s vision for his enameled artworks drew from the beauty of simplicity. He sought after an imagistic theme for his work rather than pursuing the abstract often seen in other enameled wall art. The image is just the beginning – each piece is paired with a quote sgraffitoed around the sides to create an inspiring story through words and images in glass.
The glass is applied to one side of the metal using stencils and relying on precise layering with hand sifters. The piece is only fired once. After firing, a pin is rolled over the enameled metal to form intentional crazing marks in the glass.
Spiritiles are part of the evolving story about wall art enameling. Houston traces his lineage back to Fred Uhl Ball, an artist and teacher in the mid-1970’s who dreamt of glass on metal murals and brought them to life. He took a medium focusing on small enameling techniques for jewelry and experimented in glass and metal to create wall artwork. He forged a new path that earned him a commission for a mural on a parking garage in Sacramento and then another at a local hospital.
While every piece has its own unique essence, all are created to live in community with the others, giving an eclectic collector limitless possibilities of personal expression. Spiritiles are represented in selected fine art and craft galleries across the US. To represent the line, retailers hold just the right blend of eclectic product, presence and personality.
When we feel autumn’s arrival, it is at once a returning home and a venturing out. Lighter air lets us feel comfortable in our own skin, at ease enough to take new steps in our journey.
For some it means starting a new chapter, pushing ship away from shore. For many, it is a reimagining of all the subtle details and simple pleasures we enjoy.
Autumn, that season more comfortable, encourages us to embrace our comforting treasures while pushing us to pursue our next dream.
Houston’s four new Spiritiles for Fall spark our courage, affection, delight, and love for life’s delicious flavors. Let’s enjoy this fall together.
A little secret: Houston’s favorite type of cake is cupcake! With his birthday in October, fall becomes the season of cupcakes. One year, he received a GIANT cupcake-cake at the studio for his birthday, but most years he gets boxes of different delicious flavors. Such a dedication to cake in miniature expresses his artistic zeal: that in a world where muffins abound, the artist steps up and says, “How about cupcakes instead?”