Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I was inspired to make some textured tiles with high contrast. I just love the contrast of two different clays used together. My original idea was to use contrasting slip on a dark clay body, trailing it or pouring it on the black tile. I didn't have any slip made up, so I made these.
I've used the cassius basaltic clay and some little loafers a local potter gave me to try. This probably isn't a good trial for the little loafers clay, but it was the only white clay I had. These tiles are about 7.25 inches square. When the tiles are fired the brown clay will turn a rich ebony black and hopefully will contrast nicely against the white clay.
Using two clays together isn't new for me, especially black and white clays. It's something I come back to often. I plan to leave the clay tiles natural without glaze. Now I'm wondering if I should coat them with a spray after they are fired so they can be dusted? What do you think? Have you used a sealer or spray on clay tiles used as a wall hanging? I guess more testing is necessary. Idea, test, idea, test, test, test.
I scribed a grid work on the back of the tile for better adhesion in case I decide to mount them on wood. Now I'm drying them, hoping they don't warp. I can't stack them due to the applied texture. How do you dry tile so the don't warp? Maybe I should use wallboard.
Then there's the firing - fire flat, or fire upright to help prevent warping? If I fire upright the applied texture might have a tendency to pop off. I'll probably fire them on a light dusting of sand. More testing needed.
Gary came into the studio to see what I was working on and he said, "What's the mad scientist working on this evening?" Wikipedia says, "Some mad scientists - and there are lots of them - are simply scientists who have become obsessively involved with their studies and so have begun to develop eccentricities beyond normal standards." I feel like a mad scientist with all my ideas and subsequent testing needed.