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warped tiles (more description)

updated thu 15 oct 98


Marley Wolhud on sun 11 oct 98

I got a few responses that requested detail on how I have made my warped

As far as how I have fired my tiles thus far, it has been flat on a
shelf. I have a tile rack with about 24 slots but have not had enough
glazed tiles to use it yet. When preparing the tiles, I wedge and then
drop the clay as much as possible to flatten it and then finish the job
with a heavy rolling pin. I dry them between two pieces of homasote
(similar to drywall but no paper covering so a bit cleaner to work
with). The homasote is also weighted on the top to get an even

Anyone have any suggestions?


Donn Buchfinck on tue 13 oct 98

What we have found in our studio is that for a tile to dry and fire right, the
back of the tile needs to be scored, or notches need to be cut in them, this
is handy for this gives a place for the morter to grab onto. the scoring
creates a 3- dimentional surface on the bottom of the tile, I know there is
some fancy physics formula to descibe this but I just know it works. A tile
is like a leaf, and what does a leaf do in the sun, it curls, a lot of the
time in a kiln the atmosphere, ie the air becomes hotter in the kiln than the
shelves the tiles are sitting on. if the tiles are scored then they are
raised up off the shelves and a little air can get through.

Also if you are rolling out the tiles with a rolling pin, or a one roller
baily slabroller, this at times can create some problems. compressing the
clay in one direction, I have a north star slab roller that compresses from
top and bottom and this I believe helps the problem.

also check you clay and make sure there is a broad range of particle
displacement in the clay body. I mean that there are vairing degrees of sizes
of particles that will help the tile dry evenly. A plastic clay body that is
used in throwing might not be what you need for making tiles.

good luck

Donn "I survived the flue" Buchfinck

June Perry on wed 14 oct 98

Dear Don:

My Bailey has two rollers. I didn't know they made a one roller???? Brent is
one roller, I believe. Either I'm learning something new or you picked the
wrong name out of the air. :-)

Another way to score tiles to keep them flat, that I saw years ago, probably
in Ceramics Monthly, is to take a piece of rebar and roll that along the
bottom of the tile/slab. The rebar has nice evenly placed little, not too
deep, ridges in the metal.

Warm regards,