I wanted an inbox for my desk, but couldn’t find anything that inspired me. A few months ago I started making unique clay tiles. All the base colors are the clay, but I did a lot of shading with translucent mica powders. Some tiles have inclusions of glass and swarovski crystals. I created a few each session until I had almost enough to cover the bottom of a wooden inbox I found at an arts & crafts store. I arranged the big ones first and then started filling in the smaller areas with the smaller tiles. Eventually, I had a handful of spaces and left and created tiles to fill in the holes.
The box was unfinished. I sanded and painted it with green, purple, and gold metallic paints. I did a little wet sanding before the final coats. I considered coating the whole thing with a clear coat to make it all shiny, but decided I liked the natural look better.
I like functional art and I think it is practical enough to be used. At the very least it will encourage me to keep it empty.