Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"The Ritz" - Custom Tile Finished!

My latest clay tile is finished and on its way to its new owner who plans to give it as a gift. It has taken many weeks for this process to be completed because of the many steps that are required to finish a clay piece. First I made sketches from the description that the customer gave to me for what she wanted. In this case, she wanted a lakehouse. She made a couple of suggestions for changes of little details. Then I created the tile in clay, which took me 3 to 4 hours. Then the drying and waiting time began. To avoid warping of the tile, I loosely cover my tiles for several days to start the drying process, very slowly. After it is leather hard, I start to uncover the tile for a little while each day. I don't want the little details to dry too quickly. Eventually leaving it uncovered to completely dry out. Some of the edges are cleaned up, then I put it into the kiln to fire. After it is bisque fired, I apply black glaze to the surface and wipe away the black on the top surfaces, leaving black in the creases, lines, indentions, etc. The black glaze makes the texture and the depth show up better. The glaze colors are painted on, then refired. The best part is opening up the kiln to see the final result! Hopefully, it looks like I planned. Sometimes it does not. That can be disappointing. Although this process can take several weeks, I enjoy it and the creative process.


  1. Wow, that's an incredible process! I've always wondered how people do this without it warping. Anything I made in college was pretty bad!
    This tile turned out beautifully.

  2. Thank you Sunny. It has taken me many experimental projects to realize that the slow drying time is the trick. Thanks for looking.


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