Allyson Vought began her career in art like most children, finger painting or crayons on the wall and of course the obligatory hand in the clay or mud, the usual kids stuff. Unfortunately her talent would lie dormant for much of her adult life.
In 1973 Allyson sculpted her first piece as a get-well offering for her significant other. Manipulating the clay, there soon appeared a caricature of a bunny rabbit holding flowers. This proved to be so popular; other critters were soon popping up as gifts for friends.
Allyson's love of Disney's Fantasia, and the rich history of the Disney Studio was the inspiration for her first sculptures. Allyson began creating bronzes of her sculpts that were offered as limited editions through the Disneyana convention and Walt Disney World.
Her most recognized work (sadly no longer there), and the one that is still her favorite, is the 10 character panels for the Warner Brothers flagship Store in NYC. Each panel measured 10' long by 5' high and depicts Warner Brothers animation thru the years. She likes to call it her Mt. Rushmore of projects.
Looking for new outlets for her creativity and always seeking inspiration from other mediums, she was inspired by the colorful vintage tiles found on Catalina Island. Used on buildings and structures all over the island, and sold as souvenirs to the many tourists that frequented there, they were a unique art form that personified the Catalina culture. Sadly, the Catalina Island tile and pottery plant ceased to exist after the 1930's and it was almost a lost art form for many years. Taking photographs and studying the technique Allyson thought "what a great medium, how do I turn it into my animation art".
After many trial and errors over the course of the next two years the Animation Art Tile was born in 1988. All of Allyson's Art Tiles are made with the same old world technique known as "cuerda seca" or dry-line that was used by the Catalina Tile Company.
Once an image is selected, Allyson draws the original
by hand, always keeping in mind on how best to keep the character's integrity, yet to allow for the transfer of the image and the colored glazes to the tile for maximum effect.
1. Once the original art is finished and sized to for maximum effect, a screen is made that will allow the transfer the image onto the tiles surface. The art is applied using the "cuerda seca" or dry-line technique. A very special formula for this has been developed that resists the flow of wet glazes so that they will remain separated until fired.
2. Special ceramic glazes are mixed and then hand applied to the tiles surface and allowed to dry prior to firing. This glazing process can take from one day to several weeks depending on the size and complexity of the image being reproduced.
3. When the tiles are finished, each has unique texture and coloration of glazes, separated by the deeply indented lines. This technique gives each of the tiles a distinctive look and feel that only the Catalina Style can replicate.
From tiny 2"X 2" tiles, to full wall sized creations, Allyson's tiles are a tribute to the fantastic history of the animated character with a touch of the glorious California past.