With the upcoming release of the Out of Hand Tarot I felt it may be a perfect opportunity to re-introduce one of my favorite creations.
“Tarot Tiles” are the label I have affectionately given to the little resin and wooden miniature versions of all of our decks. So even though they may be Lenormand Tiles, Oracle Tiles or Tarot Tiles, they all fall into that broader category. When I use the term it is all encompassing, the same process and love pours into each and every set.
Tarot, Lenormand and Oracle Tiles, and Casting Boards.
An Origin Story.
*(If you have our Creative Divination Session book, then some of this may be familiar)
Tarot Tiles are a creation that my partner and I came up with in 2018. Employing a process where we scale down full sized decks into small laser engraved wood & resin versions; in order to have a more tactile experience.
Without the Tiles there would be no Tarot Casting boards, or the whole of my Creative Divination process— this website may not even exist.
They were the keys to this kingdom for me.
It started with Lenormand and a desire to be able to see the bigger picture in a smaller space. I am and forever will be creative and crafty, I also prefer functional art in lieu of the type that simply hangs upon a wall. Perhaps this is why Cartomancy appeals to me so much, but I digress.
It was after the self-publication of my indie “Sawyer’s Lenormand”. Accepting the fact that I was new to the system and exploring the idea that you could/should(?) read all 36 cards at once… it intrigued me. You see, I learn through creation— which is why I drew the deck in the first place. I wanted to understand the Grand Tableau from the bird’s eye point of view, Lenormand decks are generally smaller by design for this reason, however 36 poker sized cards still took up quite a bit of space.
Adjacent to this realization, I was also making pendants out of resin with crystals, wire wrapping miniature images of my Sawyer’s Path Tarot cards. Creating little talismans to wear as a reminder to embody the energy of the card featured.
It struck me that I could take the same technique and apply it to the Lenormand images… However, instead of wire wrapping 1 or 2 here and there, I would take on the task of creating all 36 cards. This was before we discovered the technique we use today. Those initial “tiles” were full of flaws and bubbles… not unlike life itself. They were perfectly imperfect. I loved them so much because they were the crack in the wall that opened this whole new world to me.
Those tiny “tiles” eventually became a littler bigger, still made solely of resin and filled with bubbles, the Lenormand set graduated to the Tarot Major Arcana, and ultimately the minors followed suit.
My mind is constantly in a state of prototyping and problem solving; I desired to combat those micro bubbles and the brainstorming began. This process took a lot of trials, errors and bad batches before I landed on the process in which we use to create today. I also want to mention that back in those early days, I was really into pyrography, which is the art of wood burning. The earlier sets of Tarot Tiles (pre-laser) had hand burnt backs and would take me more than 10 hours to create just one set.
Today we use a method where we can combat 99% of the bubbles, as we evolve, the way we show up for our process and journey evolves. Taking an idea through its prototyping stages into what it ultimately becomes, is my happy place.
I have come to know that if I find joy in something— then perhaps you will too.
Tarot Casting Boards, an evolution of practice…
Tarot Casting boards also started with Lenormand and the desire to once and for all master the Grand Tableau (side note, I still have not mastered it, because creativity derails me…and I’ve come to find out how Lenormand wishes to show up in my practice… such is life).
When we welcomed our industrial laser; the ideas came pouring in. I wanted to create a board that would be a static “Houses” placemat for the Grand Tableau. One of the ways to read the GT is to see which “house” a card is sitting in— it gives more information to what is going on for that card. An engraved cheat sheet was made, something that was the same size as the wooden Lenormand Tiles, with keywords for each card in their natural 1-36 house placements.
I loved the idea of this hard tangible surface, one where I could shuffle cards easily upon if I chose. (I’m a “hands on the table” shuffler, cloths always bunch up, the boards were my remedy) Ultimately this is how I started to use the Grand Tableau— it ceased to be about learning Lenormand— it became a place to set a stage for my cards and tiles to meet.
“Daily Casting” arose from the wooden GT backdrop.
It was then that I first paired Tarot with Lenormand. I would use a full sized tarot card and place Lenormand Tiles around it, sometimes I would throw one of my round Nature Portal Oracle cards in there for good measure. The Daily Casting spread became the heart of my practice, and still is. Lenormand would “tether” the Tarot into reality. I was learning a new language and it became clearer with each layer and subsequent reading.
This language would have never been revealed to me had I not been dabbling with the resin miniatures. There was a desire to get playful when seeking such serious messages or advice, resulting in making my artwork a bit more functional.
We all have an origin point in our creative practice and this was mine.
I am grateful to each and every person who has welcomed one of our creations into their practice. I could never put into words the full amount of love and gratitude that I feel for each of you.
The reason I chose to share this origin story with you, is to let you know how it all began for me. The world has become such a smaller place due to social media sharing— where being excited about innovation meets inspiration, people may be inspired to create their own versions of what I have come to call Tarot Tiles.
I accept and understand that. Imitation is flattery after all… right?
Art is inspiration and there will always be a spark that ignites a desire in a human.
My only wish for those inspired by my creations- is to fall in love with their own process and ultimately land on something that is unique to them.
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