A fear of the “dark side” led Jane Yelliott to put more of her artistic talents toward working with tiles, but it had little to do with an aversion to the supernatural.
“I have struggled for years and years with watercolor, and I’ve always been afraid of the darks,” she said. “You get so far and you work from light to dark, and I always fear I’m going to ruin it." When working with pastels, she works from dark to light.
“With tiles I can be more colorful and braver, and it’s fun. It’s totally different and a lot of fun.”
Yelliott, known as “The Tile Lady” in certain art circles, works with ceramic glazes on most of her clay and porcelain tile pieces. The process starts with the dark colors and works toward the lights.
Some of her tile works will be on display through August at In-Town Gallery. She also will have some of her pastel paintings in the showcase, she said.
The 6- and 12-inch tile pieces feature figures, flowers and creatures.
Yelliott was introduced to working with tiles in the ’90s.
She said part of the appeal for her in the medium is the versatility tiles have. “They can be used anywhere. They are impervious to sun, and water doesn’t affect them.”
Her Parade of Turtles tiles can be seen at the bottom of the canyon at the Tennessee Aquarium and her tile scene “Catfish Fantasy” is on a Masonry in Public Places bench at the corner of Market and Second streets.
Yelliott also created a “Cookapelli” motif based on the Southwest Indian kokopelli images. She also created a series of tiles with a food motif. Both designs have been used in several new kitchens built by the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Arts programs in Norfolk, Va.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...