Sunday, January 17, 2010

Making New Tiles

Well, it's a new year and I just had another birthday. Time to start some new art. I bought 50lbs of red clay months ago and have decided to make some new tiles. I haven't worked in red clay in a long time... it stains. But it makes some incredible glaze colors. I am excited to start.

I open the bag of clay and use a wire to cut off a 1/2" slab. I roll it out to 1/4" and press objects into it. Today I used some metal pieces that I took off an old dresser that was "rescued" from the trash. The metal pieces are mostly circular designs. I look for interesting textures that will show up well in clay. I can't press the objects too deep, otherwise they will go through the clay slab.

I really like the repetitive motion of making patterns. I really have to concentrate so that it looks even. Today I was annoyed because the metal stuck into the clay. Red clay is really moist, so if you add just a little water it gets really mushy!

When I'm done with the design, I place the tiles on a board to let them dry out. Once they have dried completely I will fire them in a kiln to cone 04, which is about 1950 degrees F.

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