2014-09-19 / People

Kate’s foyer to feature tile mosaic

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Andrea Perry, left and Daphne Pulsifer slide a backside of the cow into place on Sunday morning at Kate’s Butter in Arundel. Pulsifer and Perry were commissioned earlier this year to design and install a tile mosaic for the facility. (Alex Acquisto photo) Andrea Perry, left and Daphne Pulsifer slide a backside of the cow into place on Sunday morning at Kate’s Butter in Arundel. Pulsifer and Perry were commissioned earlier this year to design and install a tile mosaic for the facility. (Alex Acquisto photo) ARUNDEL — Local artists Daphne Pulsifer and Andrea Perry have been commissioned by Kate’s Butter to create and install a tile mosaic in the foyer of the production facility.

Lucas Patry, product manager at Kate’s Butter, along with his fiance, Alison Leary, settled the business in Arundel earlier this year after transplanting from Old Orchard Beach.

The new facility will soon include a 6,000- foot dairy barn located behind a pond, on a slight hill overlooking Alfred Road.

As the construction on the main facility is nearing the end, Patry and Leary commissioned Pulsifer and Perry in the spring to create an art installation.


Andrea Perry, left, and Daphne Pulsifer examine their newly laid tile mosaic, “Cow Celebration” at the Kate’s Butter facility in Arundel. Perry and Pulsifer, who have been working together for 10 years, installed the tile Sunday morning. The two will grout and seal during the next 10 days. 
(Alex Acquisto photo) Andrea Perry, left, and Daphne Pulsifer examine their newly laid tile mosaic, “Cow Celebration” at the Kate’s Butter facility in Arundel. Perry and Pulsifer, who have been working together for 10 years, installed the tile Sunday morning. The two will grout and seal during the next 10 days. (Alex Acquisto photo) Pulsifer, who lives in Kennebunkport and Perry, a Biddeford resident, have been working together for about 10 years.

They work as free agents through The Tile Shop in Biddeford and are also cofounders of Femme Fatile, LLC. Together, they have designed unique tile installations for the interiors of homes and public spaces like the Piscataquis County Superior Courthouse, where they were commissioned to design a series of topographical maps made of tile.

They also have designed stylized tile installations for New Morning Natural Foods in Kennebunk, Buxton Elementary School and Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick.

“It’s fun to work in people’s homes because it allows us to work with them and create something that reflects their taste and aesthetic values,” Pulsifer said.

In reference to working in public spaces, like schools, the courthouse and now Kate’s Butter, Pulsifer said she and Perry love doing that work “because it means you’re engaging with more people.”

When Pulsifer and Perry were commissioned for the Kate’s Butter project, they were given the freedom to design freely, with the only stipulation that a cow and children be included, Perry said.

The plot in the foyer is 6 and a 1/2-feet squared. Their installation is called “Cow Celebration.”

“We found inspiration for this work from artists like Dahlov Ipcar and Charley Harper,” Perry said. In the center of the design there is a stylized cow, which is surrounded by grass and flowers that “change along compositional lines and color variation. There are children and frolicking calves shown in silhouette placed in a broad ring towards the outside of the arrangement,” Pulsifer said.

The mosaic includes more than 20 colors on Crossville Tiles, which are very durable. The two worked on the pieces in Perry’s garage until they were ready to lay the tile Sunday morning.

“Each step is exciting because each step looks different: when you take off the tarp, remove the cast paper, finish grating it gets more exciting,” Perry said. “It’s been in my small garage for a long time, so it’s nice to see it here.”

Pulsifer and Perry worked quietly as they slid the tiles (divided into 30 segments) into place like a puzzle, the whole effort taking about an hour. Each tile was measured and shaped thoroughly beforehand. “Thousands of tile pieces were pre-assembled into manageable segments,” Pulsifer said.

To do this, they used wet tile saws and grinders. “Our tools enable us to cut very complex shapes, but for this project we also made use of Waterjet technology,” Pulsifer said. “To distinguish the silhouetted figures from the rest of the composition, the finely detailed patterns were drawn on the computer and then cut by B&D Waterjet, LLC.”

Now that the tiles have been laid, Pulsifer and Perry will grout, clean and seal the installation. It should be completed in about 10 days.

For more information about Femme Fatile, visit www.femmefatile.com, and for more information about Kate’s Butter, visit www.kateshomemadebutter.com.

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