Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Back in Action!
Well I'm finally over my bronchitis and back in the studio! Feels great to be back! Since I was away, many of my pieces I've been waiting for have been fired, and 10 pieces in particular are my test tiles I made awhile back. I have been waiting for these babies for almost two months and...drum roll please!...They look amazing! I absolutely love the color and the way they turned out. The wait was worth it. In the year I have been at Sara Yama I must admit these tiles are the best pieces I've turned out. (or at least I think so)
***Click on the tiles to get larger photos
The clays I used were a mix of left over Bizen and Shigaraki (white) clay. The result was a smooth soft pink color and texture. I made 3mm and 5mm pieces and the 5mm turned out much better than the 3mm. At the time it should have been obvious but the 3mm tiles were too thin and ended up warping a little during the glaze firing. (but not enough to make them unusable) The backs of the tiles have grooves in them just like commercial tiles so all the pieces are very much so usable. (Tiles need the grooves on the back so the grout will help seal it to the wall or floor)
In total I used five different glaze colors. The colors were applied using an air gun, so that's why there's the speckled effect on some of the tiles. I also etched my own designs into the tiles while they were still somewhat wet. I wasn't sure how the designs would turn out, but I like the texture they give and the depth of field. They're also eye catching which is never a minus.
Besides 3mm being too thin and causing slight warping, I found out the white/bluish glazes I used also tend to warp clay when only used on one side of a piece. Next time I will either use sparse amounts of the white or avoid it all together.
Overall I an extremely happy with all the tiles! I can't wait to make more and use them in my future bathroom or kitchen. They'd look great as a counter tile, bathtub border or even on a table top. I'll use these 10 test tiles as a wall decoration in my room. Most likely I'll use a frame, smear on some grout and attach the tiles to it. Pictures to come once it's completed!