Tuesday, June 15, 2010
the tile house - 9

Picking up where we left off with The Tile House, this was a fountain that was there, when George Ehling bought the house in 1967 which had been built in 1927, the year of George's birth. The blue tiles---all 'Malibu' tiles were there already, making that round arch on the outside. And if I remember correctly, the center pieces were there, too...though not the Bird. And that very middle piece at the top of the center had fallen off and was just lying there on the ground when George found it. George re-cemented it and as he tells it, the extra cement came out through the hole in the mouth--which is where the water had come from when it was a fountain---George put in all the other tile surrounding the 'Malibu' tile, and as usual, it was another complex design.....Here below is a closer look at this wonderful and amusing face. LOL, LOL....Because of that cement coming out through the hole, it looked like the person was sticking his tongue out, so George used some small red tiles to emphasis that it was indeed, the guy sticking his tongue out.....I love those two little figures on either side of the face helping to make up the 'whole' of the face....Also, looking at that first picture again, all the tiles that are part of the front of the house were the only large amount of tiles that George actually bought. He used these tiles on the entire front of the house--with slightly different designs as the spirit moved him. There were 6000 sq, feet of these tan tiles, 4 X 8, which he cut down to 2 X 4, in most cases and then added the beautiful in-between browns, etc. These tiles originally came from England and had been made by a Company called Johnson & Johnson which doesn't exist any longer. George bought them from some place in New Jersey.....Amazing, Amazing.Above is the area where the water from the fountain used to go. The lovely light Turquoise-Blue tiles where 'Malibu' tiles too.....'Malibu Tiles' doesn't exist any longer either. And the Malibu Tiles are highly prized here in California.....I love the Lizard that sits in the fountain-less pool, that has a bit of water on the floor of it....along with lots of pennies....... This was George's idea.....I think it was the influence of the years he spent in Italy and that famous fountain where coins were thrown in for 'good luck'. It is a very sweet touch, I must say...... Here, above, George is pointing out the darling Bird that he created for this former fountain. One really needs to see these things close-up to understand and appreciate the amount of work and 'artistry' that has gone into what George has created in just about ever nook and cranny, as they say, of his home....The size of these tiles that he used in the Bird, are minuscule.....I love the white 'roads' that run all through the pale blue tiles, giving the Bird a certain dimension....And his eye and his beak....Lovely 'red' for contrast. A somewhat closer look at some of the Malibu Tiles. They are quite extraordinary! The complex designs were fantastic and inspiring to everyone who saw them and loved them, not the least of whom was George Ehling. Listening to George talk about the beauty that he has created one cannot get away from the fact that this was and is a 'passion' for him. It was, and still is, the major thrust of his life and his 'Art'. One could say that George is obsessed. And I agree, he is, absolutely. But Ohhhh, what an obsession! And I suppose one could say that I am obsessed, too, with this magnificent work of art. Guilty, as charged! And for me too.....Oh, what an obsession. Yes, there will be more and more and more......Here below is a little teaser of what's to come---some of which is visible behind and beside George, in that picture above........ This is a curved wall that surrounds a staircase that goes on down towards the street.....the entree way to the house---the front door----is on this level, which you will see very soon.......

More To Come..........

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Do you know why the 2 cherubs on either side of the face are covering up his/her eyes? The tongue is very clever too!

I'd love to see a bit more water in the fountain-less pool!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 1:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very very beautiful.
How pleasing it is to me, to think of him living in his work of art!
I love the tongue too - sassy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 6:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The cement out of the mouth of the facade, reminds me of my elementary art teacher who always told us to make the best of our "mistakes." Some of the best art has its origins in "blunders," I think.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 6:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow! Seeing each post of the Tile House, more I am enchanted with George creativity! You took great photos, Naomi, showing amazing details.
Thanks for sharing this fantastic house!
Really, I would love to be there with you...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 7:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Art with a sense of humor- that is part of what makes this house special!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 8:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

i normally dont talk about how much our measly little house costs but that is a beautiful house and i bet it costs more to maintain than i can imagine.. i mean we are only paying 100,000 for our 3 bedroom ranch style home and that has so many features..

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 12:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just love this place! So much work must have gone into it :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 2:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

His name sounds so familiar to me but when I googled it, there was only brief reference to movies in the 60's. Seems like I have seen his name much more recently. Anyway, he definately is an artist and he really seemed so pleased and proud to be showing you his work as well he should be.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 2:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Now I want to get some tiles and tile the wall in front of our house. This is so beautiful and unique. This will outlive him and bring people joy for years to come. We all should leave something like that behind.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 3:08:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Like Joe, I'd like to see water in the pool.

That place gets more amazing with each post you make on it, Naomi!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 7:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

obsession isn't always a bad word.

it must be nice to know a contemporary Gaudi and to have such intricate life celebration to continue to evolve before your eyes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 10:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The detail on such a huge "canvas" is amazing.

You took some great photos!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 5:29:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I wonder what inspired him to do it in the first place. The house? The fact that there was already some tiling or has he always done it?
In any case - thanks to you - we can all soak up the beauty of it.
I didn't see a tongue but a python being swallowed. Such drama:) Thank you Naomi.

Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

gorgeous! what painstaking and lovely work!

i have not been in here in far too long - do you remember me? i used to go by honestyrain but now i am using my real name.

Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 8:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

More amazing photos of this lovely home! I can't imagine the hours he has spent at this. You can tell it is truly a labor of love for him!! I'm looking forward to more!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 5:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

oh! the tile house! i am so-very-happy that it's back! love the tongue (lol) and really love the coins. sweet, indeed! thanks so much for sharing and documenting this absolute gem! i love your commentary and the personal information about george that you share. it all really comes together-- whole, complete and a fab read! :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 7:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

On THIS post, I was thinking about exactly what you would then discuss after the photo! I felt like I was standing next to you. Wow, what a handsome man too. I see his LV Tee! LOL I can't understand why no one has ever profiled his house, his art...

Friday, June 18, 2010 at 6:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, you never stop amazing me.
The details you here shows, is a proof of your professional qualities.
You distinct quality from the ordinary in a way I've never seen before.

btw. This Saturday we have had "Green Winter" (50 F - 10 C,Heavy Wind and Rain and Thunder and a taste of Summer (72 F - 22 c). In 4 hours.
I'll coming soon back and comment more seriously.


Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 8:14:00 AM PDT 

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