Gurney Wins Spa - 1967 Belgian Grand Prix

This artistic mural was designed such that it could be free standing and moved to any location as required - not requiring a permanent, cemented-down installation. A textured through-body porcelain tile was selected to break up the gloss finish and for exterior frost resistance. To give the mural a more finished presentation, a custom-fabricated granite frame compliments the work. The client selected this well-know artist's work for reproduction on tile so as to associate image content with his potential customer interests; since his specialty landscape business is located within a high-end, exotic car enthusiast's club complex, the artwork is of common interest.

Working from a high resolution digital capture of the original painting, the art has been transformed into a permanent format - kiln fired (1600 °F) on frost resistant porcelain tile using inorganic ceramic pigments. The finished mural is completely weatherproof and will never fade! This imaging process follows a color management workflow insuring that the colors in the reproduced tile image are as close as possible to those in the original painting. Proprietary methods were developed here to allow successful transfer to textured porcelain surface without introducing image defects.

In advance of this and other mural projects several custom color profiles were developed to accurately characterize the color gamut variations of this ceramic imaging and firing process given the variables of ceramic pigments, base tile color, proprietary process techniques, and firing temperature. This was done in preparation for and in anticipation of the challenge of accommodating a wide range of artistic expression including fine art paintings/photography as well as graphical illustrations and text. Typically, this would otherwise be a rather limited, 4-color, ceramic printing process. However, with this innovative color management approach a major problem is solved; the capability of selecting a 'best-match' color profile from a broad group of many available profiles is now established. A client's choice in art can be 'soft proofed' in an application such as Photoshop - previewing the expected fired result on screen. It is in this preparatory stage when the best-match profile is selected and where any appropriate adjustments to color hue, saturation, etc can be made ahead of printing. The material set and process parameters associated with the selected profile are later used to decorate the tile.

When examining the accompanying photos one can appreciate some of the other challenges involved in this project. Cementing the tile to a continuous cement backer board meets the design goal of allowing it to be free-standing and also provides supports the granite frame. All the tiles were set on the backer board in the workshop. The granite frame pieces were designed and fabricated to fit the finished dimensions of the set tile leaving room for a perimeter grout line. When ready, the granite frame was assembled around the tile, adhered into position and given a final polish.

The finished mural with frame is approximately 44" tall by 56" wide, and it weighs about 200 pounds. For placement and display in the client's landscape showroom and safe transport for events throughout the adjoining exotic car showrooms, the client provided a welded steel easel with wheels. The mural can also be fixed (temporarily or permanently) to an exterior or interior wall using appropriate construction techniques and materials. It is enduring, weatherproof, and will never fade.

Bill Patterson - Artist

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