Clayhaus rises from shattered glass
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Jason Coleman at work at the Clayhaus studio in Southeast Portland.
Jason and Megan Coleman started a high-end recycled glass tile company in 2006 and carved out a nice niche meeting the demand for green, artisan home details.
And then the housing bubble burst.
"It was like, 'who turned out the lights?'" said Megan Coleman.
The pair has since retooled, shuttered Stardust Glass and is launching this spring as Clayhaus, still touting green credentials but using clay instead of glass as its main medium.
"Clay is pennies on the dollar," Coleman said. "We had to get competitive and still stay true to our passion."
Clayhaus still uses recycled glass in some of its glazes, sourced from a company in Washington, and its process of producing tiles allows the company to use reclaimed and scrap clay, maximizing the efficiency of the process.
Now the two-person company is taking on orders — bigger than the accent glass tile orders it was filling before — and working with Portland designers to create unique patterned tiles. The clay tiles sell at an average of $20 per square foot, compared to an average of $40 for the glass tiles.
"It fills our pipeline," Coleman said. "We're just two people, we're not Wal-Mart."
Jason Coleman is the artist half of the business with a background working for Pratt & Larson in Portland. The company is named for his love of the Bauhaus movement and its influences on modernist architecture.
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