Aloe Tile Works
is a hand-made ceramic art tile company, creating custom tile. We are family-owned and operated and have been making tile in Corpus Christi, Texas for over twenty years.
We believe in craftsmanship, artistry, and the quality of our product. We find our inspiration everywhere: in music, people, history, our gardens and even the ocean outside our front door. We blend classic ceramic style, traditional arts and crafts and contemporary design. We put ourselves in every tile we make and we want to help you find yourself in clay.
We love what we do and we hope to share that with you.
We make two categories of handmade custom-ordered tiles. Orders can take anywhere from six weeks to several months, depending on the complexity and time of year.
- Art tiles include school murals, house murals, and community projects. We also can create items, such as bowls, cups, crosses, tumblers, and ornaments.
- Ceramic documents includes personalized and non-personalized items such as awards, appreciations, and other commemorative items.
Our patrons include non-profit groups, schools, municipalities, and individuals. Our priority is community work and non-profits, although we are grateful for all those who support Aloe Tile.
The Clay We Love
We use a red clay inspired by the strong colors you see at the Four Corners in the American southwest. Our clay is a mix of red clay from the Ohio River Valley, Georgia brick clay and Florida kaolin china clay. We work with a palette developed over several years of study, which was primarily inspired by the brilliant ceramicist Harding Black. We continually update our colors and wake up every day ready to make a better tile.
We work in both relief tile and painted tile. Our relief tile is hand-carved and hand-painted. We paint the design with colored clay, then fire it once in a bisque firing. Then, we use a custom blended clear glaze and fire it again at high heat.
Finally, we share our tile with you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.
The People Who Make These Tiles
Ed and Cornelia Gates began Aloe Tile Works in 1994. They share all studio responsibilities together, creating works ranging from tile wall murals to Ed’s wheel-altered tile pieces — such as dinnerware, mugs, tea sets and bowls. (photo of Ed & Cornelia with hex design plate by Michael Zamora, Corpus Christi Caller Times)
Ed Gates was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and grew up in the Midwest. He holds a Bachelor of History and Arts from Grinnell College in Iowa and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1995, Ed received a National Endowment for the Arts Federal Design Achievement Award for his work on the Staples Street Station in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Cornelia Henderson Gates was born in Uvalde, Texas and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Texas and a J.D. from Tulane Law School. She has been published in Ceramics Monthly and The Journal of the American Art Pottery Association.
Aloe Tile’s work is also featured in Peter King’s Architectural Ceramics for the Studio Potter. See examples of our public works at the Museum Without Walls. We’ve had several news features of our public works, including our Veterans High School mural of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the D.N. Leathers public housing complex mural (which was preserved as the building was demolished), the South Texas Music Walk of Fame and our Sister City Peace Pole.
There are five contract artists creating and working with us at Aloe Tile. Take a look around our studio here or come by to see us in person.
We also share our space with feline friends Aloe Kitty and Miss Loretta as well as a fish named Oscar. Sometimes other feline friends drop by.