Captivating! Custom Mosaics by Alpentile

Alpentile specializes in glass tile installations in every application, from custom signage to swimming we sprang into action when Ben Capdevielle announced plans to open Captive Spirits Distilling in Ballard, WA…

“…We must lead thirsty patrons to delicious libations….”  The distillery needed a sign that communicated the spirit of artisan distilling.  We knew what to do…With such a great logo in place, our process began with discussions about scale, positioning, functionality.  The commission: A two-sided, hanging mosaic sign.


For a beefy look and minimal weight, the base is 2″ thick Wedi board- a foam core panel coated on both sides with a waterproof, fiberglass reinforced layer of resin.  The exposed foam edge will be treated with a brush applied waterproofing membrane before we skin the entire base in thinset.
With so many colors and finishes available in glass mosaics we gathered samples to find the best product for an old-time feel.  We looked at metallic finishes, matte finishes and translucent glass before ultimately deciding that ‘less is more’ with this particular logo, selecting basic black and pure porcelain white glass mosaics.  The old-time characteristic is inherent to the process of hand mosaic work–no need to get fancy with the tiles as well.

Our goal is to communicate the handcrafted nature of the distilling process at Captive Spirits, so we hand scribe the letters, cutting in each individual tile with painstaking attention to detail.

Lettering is the most time-consuming and ultimately the most rewarding part of our process.  There really is no machine-made substitute that can equally capture the richness in texture created by minute imperfections of handwork.

Watch this time lapse video showing our process.  Each tile is hand cut and placed exactly where it needs to be….

Another detail in our work is the patterning of each mosaic block.  The black background consists of concentric spirals in a dot-n-dash pattern.  ‘Cs’ letters are broken into 3 sections of offset 1×1’s.

Next, we start on the handcrafted wrought iron frame,  designed and fabricated by Grizzly Iron,  featuring an organic iron juniper branch detail as an homage to the first spirit to be released by the distillery.
Jason welds the framework for our sign.
Hand made steel berries – these guys are amazing.
Placing the botanical elements…
We recently visited the distillery for their grand opening –
Happy to see the sign in place, and we definitely toasted the occasion with a sip of Gin!

 Luke, Ben, Amy, and CS

Gin Botanicals.

Good Friends!

Luke and Amy Denny are artisan contractors in Phoenix AZ.   We hope our work speaks for itself, and we’re happy to talk shop with anyone who’s as nerdy about tile as we are…

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