Monthly Archives: January 2014

Introduction to Sketchup

Hello, everyone. I am going to be offering a series of blog posts, videos and content centered around the design program Sketchup. To those of you who are not familiar with with the 3-D design software Sketchup, I would like to offer an introduction. I find Sketchup to be simple to use and yet quite powerful.

You can use it to create a rough sketch of a design, like I did here for a fireplace using the Celeste pattern from our Sygma collection. (Click on an image to enlarge – press “ESC” to make it go away.)

Fireplace in "Celeste" 4x4's

With a bit more work, you can create color documents that present a much better sense of the design than you might have had using just color samples and your imagination.


A more detailed color sketch of a stairway landing

A more detailed color sketch of a stairway landing

This post provides a quick glimpse of what is possible with Sketchup and gives you links for installing and getting started.  For those of you who already use Sketchup, there is a link to download our Components library or you can search the 3D Warehouse, a online repository of models other Sketchup users have made – more on that in the next post.  Future posts will offer more detail about how to use Syzygy tile in your Sketchup model and will also cover a variety of advanced tasks.

Let’s get started…

First, a link for installing “Sketchup Make,” the free version of software.  A more advanced version, Sketchup Pro, is required if you want to create multi-page presentations or to-scale construction documents.  See this article for instructions and a link to download the basic version, Sketchup Make.   Next, learn the basics – I’d love to say that I am the greatest at teaching Sketchup, but I’m not, so let us defer to the wiser minds, and watch these four videos.  The videos are about 10 minutes each and will help you learn the basics.  You can also assume that you already know enough and skip ahead to the next post – Setting up Syzygy Components Library and the 3D Warehouse.

  1. Getting Started – Part 1
  2. Getting Started – Part 2
  3. Getting Started – Part 3
  4. Getting Started – Part 4

Again, for those of you who know Sketchup you can use this link to download the Syzygy Tile Components and have the most common Syzygy tiles and patterns already drawn up and ready to model !

A tile for the Silver City Musuem

We were recently approached by the staff of the Silver City Museum and asked to produce a tile to commemorate the out-going President of the Board of Directors and her dedication to the organization.

The Museum provided us with a picture of the front of the historic building.  From this we created a one-of-a-kind tile.  After carving the wet clay and bisque firing the tile we had produced:

Silver City Museum Tile in bisque

Bisque Tile – Silver City Museum

Then began the glazing process.  With a tile like this, we have to balance the desire for lots of color with the requirements of glaze application, keeping the colors distinct and separate.  After two days of glaze application and a final firing we have an amazing tile that captures the essence of the Silver City Museum, cracked sidewalks and all.

Glazed Tile - Silver City Museum

Finished Silver City Museum Tile