Dish was started in the Parkhurst area in 1997 by Sharon Thompson, a talented ceramic and mosaic artist. Sharon is now based in Mauritius where she has a studio specializing in her ceramic art.
Lynne Wilson bought Dish from Sharon in 2010 and sold to Sean Harmer, the current owner, in 2016. Sean has since moved Dish from the store in Parkhurst to the current home studio in Robindale, Randburg.
Dish Studio have long been considered a powerhouse in the mosaic art and materials industry. Ceramic inserts are a big part of our offering, with many designs unique to Dish. We are also proud to boast the largest colour variety of ceramic tiles in the country, if not Africa!
When starting a mosaic artwork, the design, substrate as well as the materials to be used must be considered. Dish Studio specializes in the use of ceramic tiles as this is the medium we manufacture ourselves. Our ceramic tiles start out as plain bisque (clay) tiles, that have already had their first firing. These tiles are then glazed with the colour/s we require and then fired at 1060ºC.
The glazed tiles are cut into strips with a tile cutter and shaped with tile nippers. The mosaic pieces are then glued in place with the required adhesive, dependent on the base of each project. If we are working on mesh we use mesh glue, if we are working on a flat solid surface like a board we use a waterproof adhesive, and if we use a vertical surface we use tile flex adhesive.
When all the tiles are glued into their final place, on a board or wall, we grout the artwork. If the project is to be outdoors, we use a combination of bonding liquid and water in the grout to make sure it is waterproof.
Once all is said and done, the artwork has a long life of bringing beauty and enjoyment to its new owners for many years to come.
The production of a ceramic insert is a 3 firing process.
The ceramic inserts at Dish Studio are all hand sculpted using earthenware clay. Once they are dry , they become greenware, and the insert is ready to be biscuit fired at 1000ºC.
When the inserts come out of the kiln, they are underglazed with colourful designs and once again put in the kiln at 1000ºC to harden-on. Directly after the second firing, they are painted with transparent glaze and fired at 1100ºC for their third and final firing.
We make plaster moulds of inserts that are highly detailed, or if we need them to come out the same everytime. Once the mould is dry, we can then start making the inserts by pouring clay slip inside. When solidified, we take them out of the mould. We then follow the same process as the clay sculpted inserts.
Quite a process indeed!
When taking commissions for that one of a kind artwork, be it a house number or a large scale mural, we meet with our client and discuss the design.
Most clients have a design in mind and others leave it up to us. Commissions that let us show some artistic freedom are our favourites. There are projects such as logos where this isn’t always possible, but it’s important to remember that we like to add our unique touch to each work.
We do on occasion make sample pieces so that the client gets a better idea of what the artwork will look like.
Once the design and colours are approved, a deposit is paid so that we can start the process of mosaic’ing and making inserts, if required.
When the piece is finished, we either deliver / install it (at a small fee), or the client collects the artwork from our studio.
We are a member of MASA
Dish Studio is a proud member of The Mosaic Association of South Africa (MASA).
Dish shares the association’s mission in furthering mosaic as an art form and supporting the mosaic community at large with advice and encouragement.
Sean is the chairperson of the association and has a passion for promoting mosaic as a whole.
“Everyone has their own unique style. Remember, there is perfection in the imperfection” Sean likes to say.
Our in-house ceramic artist and youngest member of the team, injects a fresh energy into her artworks. She specialises in fine detailed work, with nature being her main inspiration.
Sean, the owner of DISH Studio, is experienced in anything interior and has an eye for design. This man with a plan and a can-do attitude will make your experience relaxing and fun.
“We all have an untapped measure of creativity in us and there is therapy in bringing it out”.
Phakama is the main mosaic fabricator at DISH and an invaluable member of our team. She has a knack for bringing our designs to life. With over 15 years mosaic’ing experience she is up for any challenge we throw at her.