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tile method/apology

updated thu 14 dec 00


Sandy Tesar on wed 13 dec 00

I have been guilty of not ever introducing myself to the group, though
I have corresponded with several of you. I also tried to thank the large
group who responded to my search for Arts and Crafts typeface...which I
found thanks to many...but inadvertently my thanks was denied AFTER I had
deleted your names. I apologies.

I have been on Clayart for about 4 years, mostly lurking. I hand build,
and have been my sole support for the first 8 of the 18 years I have
been doing this. The last 6 years I have been taken over by tile, and
have read with interest all the comments. I am reluctant to appear the
expert, but with the thread of helping others so prevalent I thought I
would trot out my method...learned through trial and error.

I make a lot of tile, I use an old SRC and I flip the canvas and roll
both sides. I then flip the clay onto drywall boards on plain newsprint.
Depending on the season , if the air is dry or air conditioning is on, I
cut a clay boarder to seal the edges of my sandwiches, never stack them
higher than four tiles and five boards.

If I plan to stamp as well as draw ( I carve my stamps out of plaster or
sometimes make clay ones and bisque them . I find the plaster more
immediate to the project and short lived, which promotes change.), the
stamping is done immediately when the tile is rolled, then the shape cut
from the slab.

On the day after I have rolled them I check them...when they slide on
their newsprint ( it is on both sides to promote less stress in shrinking
while leathering up ) I transfer them to a dry board....and a day or more
if it is a thick large tile ( 15 by 30 " is my largest)...I also stuff
dry cleaning bags in the edges to retard edge drying.

When I find them sufficiently leather hard, I slide them onto a dry piece
of plaster board and make my drawing with brush tipped markers...then I
use a variety of stylus to etch in the drawing.

The tile then goes back into the drywall (plasterboard) "sandwich" for a
couple of days until I notice it "looks" dry but of course is not. At
that time I move them onto wire shelves I have scavenged that are quite
prevalent in fast food and department stores....racks have 1/2 inch

My tiles are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick depending on size. I use Kickwheel's
kps raku which is an open clay body that can be fired to a wide range of
cones. It is also the smoothest clay body ( they make crunch and super
crunch for sculpture and pots of large size) for etching. Some tile is
raku fired and some is electric fired to 011 or cone 6 My warpage using
these temperatures and methods is less than 5%.

Paul Lewing and anyone else who said do not bend the wet clay has hit
the nail on the head....and, use an open clay body.
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