Not all the tiles around Catalina are original. A large portion of the, are but years of exposure to weather, humans etc have taken their toll. About 15-20 years ago various artists began the task of reproducing the iconic Catalina tiles.
One of those artists is Robin Cassidy, a local potter. She has a studio just outside of Avalon at Pebbly Beach. Silver Canyon Pottery is basically 3 shipping containers side by side...plus a balcony.
Here a Robin creates the reproduction tiles and some original art tiles
Robin offers a couple of tours of her studio. They are small tours, about 8 people each. Robin talks about the history of Catalina Tile and demonstrates the many steps that go into making a tile. Our group consisted of 5 adults and two 6 year old boys. What was great was Robin's ability to keep us all entertained, informative for the adults and fun short facts for the boys.
After Robin's demonstration we got to make three tiles each. We chose our moulds either from the reproduction designs or from some more contempory choices.
First step - slice the clay and smooth out any major imperfections with our fingers
Step five - turn tile out of mould.
Step seven - two weeks later Robin mails you the finished tile. Or in my case I picked it up the next time we visited Catalina.