Teeter tiler: Thomas Thoune

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The gems in Charlotte's crown are many, and tile artistan Thomas Thoune is one of them.

Walking around Plaza Midwood with photo journalist Grant Baldwin and video journalist Kevin Beaty the other day, we stumbled upon his workshop: the front yard of his studio.

Photo: Grant Baldwin Photography

Mr. Thoune has been working for months on the art that will unveil today at the new Harris Teeter on The Plaza.

Photo: Grant Baldwin Photography

His textural, colorful and intricate repurposed tile art is spectacular and can be seen in many areas of town. He's got pieces that you can go up and touch along the light rail, the most accessible being up near Price's Chicken Coop and Phat Burrito in South End. It's great fun to go up and touch what you can easily identify as once tea cups, saucers, fine porcelain china and more.

Photo: charmeck.org

He studied in Europe and refined his process, which uses a production style that doesn't require the pieces to be fired in a kiln like most pottery or tile. In fact, it's more like grout that we all have in our homes.

Video: Kevin Beaty

Early in the planning process, he put a call out to the community for old porcelain and tile when he began creating art for the grocery store. He got beautiful vintage souvenir whiskey Jim Beam bottles via donation that have real gold plating on them, and these were broken into pieces then re-worked into stunning works of tile art that will be visible for everyone to enjoy.

The new Harris Teeter opens today.

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