Jump to content


Photo
* * * - - 2 votes

Ceramic projects for your home


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,312 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

Back 30 years ago during a remodel I decided as I already was doing thrown sinks for custom homes I might as well have my own. As well as a shower/tub surround with tile -I did not at that time have a slab roller so I used a fellow potters tile set up. He at that time was doing custom tile murals in cone 10.

So I made my own tiles--.

Gutted our bathroom and put in a new cast Iron tub andstarted my first tile job.

One thing to mention is straight away I learned how heavy tile production was and I hurt my back dealing with it. I think the challenge is what got me into this as well as I knew I wanted something that was not commercially available back then.

The blessing of being inexperienced in ceramics at the timewas–

I under estimated the whole job and everything that wasinvolved

The learning curve was steep-I made the all the flat tile and piled them in stacks covered with weighted sheet rock for wicking moisture out-It was a slow process

I extruded the bull nose and custom made all the curved tile around sink. I made two complete sink surrounds in case I lost a piece in thefire.

I had a friend who made the cherry wood sink stand that freefloats from the wall. I traded a thrown sink for his wood boat he lived on at the time.

This tile all wanted to warp up during the glaze fire (cone10 reduction) the semi matt glaze was one of the reasons-and not scoring the backs was another.

This bathroom at that time was our only one and is verysmall. I had already done the floor with commercial one foot square high firetile.

I thought I’d save a few bucks making my own as well thiswas pure folly even back then as commercial tile is and was much cheaper tobuy.

The thing was it had my own glaze and was built by me

That is still holding true today as these photos taken show it’sstood up well (no chips) for 30 years now

This was because I took the time to research all the backing materials and waterproofing techniques from books-I also borrowed a mason’s wet diamond saw for a teapot trade.

The sink has no overflow, which is fine for us with no kids

I did make overflows at that time but like the cleaner look of none.

I still like the bathroom and I suggest if you have the time to consider say a backsplash or other projects for your home-

Do not let inexperience keep you from trying

Mark

Edited by Mark C., 14 February 2012 - 04:38 PM.

Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#2 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,749 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:48 PM

Back 30 years ago during a remodel I decided as I already was doing thrown sinks for custom homes I might as well have my own. As well as a shower/tub surround with tile -I did not at that time have a slab roller so I used a fellow potters tile set up. He at that time was doing custom tile murals in cone 10.

So I made my own tiles--.

Gutted our bathroom and put in a new cast Iron tub andstarted my first tile job.

One thing to mention is straight away I learned how heavy tile production was and I hurt my back dealing with it. I think the challenge is what got me into this as well as I knew I wanted something that was not commercially available back then.

The blessing of being inexperienced in ceramics at the timewas–

I under estimated the whole job and everything that wasinvolved

The learning curve was steep-I made the all the flat tile and piled them in stacks covered with weighted sheet rock for wicking moisture out-It was a slow process

I extruded the bull nose and custom made all the curved tile around sink. I made two complete sink surrounds in case I lost a piece in thefire.

I had a friend who made the cherry wood sink stand that freefloats from the wall. I traded a thrown sink for his wood boat he lived on at the time.

This tile all wanted to warp up during the glaze fire (cone10 reduction) the semi matt glaze was one of the reasons-and not scoring the backs was another.

This bathroom at that time was our only one and is verysmall. I had already done the floor with commercial one foot square high firetile.

I thought I’d save a few bucks making my own as well thiswas pure folly even back then as commercial tile is and was much cheaper tobuy.

The thing was it had my own glaze and was built by me

That is still holding true today as these photos taken show it’sstood up well (no chips) for 30 years now

This was because I took the time to research all the backing materials and waterproofing techniques from books-I also borrowed a mason’s wet diamond saw for a teapot trade.

The sink has no overflow, which is fine for us with no kids

I did make overflows at that time but like the cleaner look of none.

I still like the bathroom and I suggest if you have the time to consider say a backsplash or other projects for your home-

Do not let inexperience keep you from trying

Mark



Lot of work involved here. I had an adult student in my Saturday classes that wanted to match an old tile trim in her bathroom. We made the extruder die, and matched the colors with our own glazes and addition of oxides(test tiles). She made over 200 pieces with the extruder cut to a tile width. When all was said and done she had a professional come in and do the work. He said he had never seen tile as consistent, and well prepared as the tile trim she gave him-made her proud!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#3 Seasoned Warrior

Seasoned Warrior

    Businessman - Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 298 posts

Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:57 PM

Back 30 years ago during a remodel I decided as I already was doing thrown sinks for custom homes I might as well have my own. As well as a shower/tub surround with tile -I did not at that time have a slab roller so I used a fellow potters tile set up. He at that time was doing custom tile murals in cone 10.

So I made my own tiles--.

Gutted our bathroom and put in a new cast Iron tub andstarted my first tile job.

One thing to mention is straight away I learned how heavy tile production was and I hurt my back dealing with it. I think the challenge is what got me into this as well as I knew I wanted something that was not commercially available back then.

The blessing of being inexperienced in ceramics at the timewas–

I under estimated the whole job and everything that wasinvolved

The learning curve was steep-I made the all the flat tile and piled them in stacks covered with weighted sheet rock for wicking moisture out-It was a slow process

I extruded the bull nose and custom made all the curved tile around sink. I made two complete sink surrounds in case I lost a piece in thefire.

I had a friend who made the cherry wood sink stand that freefloats from the wall. I traded a thrown sink for his wood boat he lived on at the time.

This tile all wanted to warp up during the glaze fire (cone10 reduction) the semi matt glaze was one of the reasons-and not scoring the backs was another.

This bathroom at that time was our only one and is verysmall. I had already done the floor with commercial one foot square high firetile.

I thought I’d save a few bucks making my own as well thiswas pure folly even back then as commercial tile is and was much cheaper tobuy.

The thing was it had my own glaze and was built by me

That is still holding true today as these photos taken show it’sstood up well (no chips) for 30 years now

This was because I took the time to research all the backing materials and waterproofing techniques from books-I also borrowed a mason’s wet diamond saw for a teapot trade.

The sink has no overflow, which is fine for us with no kids

I did make overflows at that time but like the cleaner look of none.

I still like the bathroom and I suggest if you have the time to consider say a backsplash or other projects for your home-

Do not let inexperience keep you from trying

Mark


Hi Neighbor: I like your sink! Nice installation. Do you know Bob Zvolensky from Comptche? Bob used to do sinks commercially also. Throwing a sink is hard work.

regards,
Charles in Mendo,



#4 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,312 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:33 PM

I do not know Bob-My sink days were long ago-and they big work and back then little money.
That was in my stoneware days-the shop has been 99% porcelain for over 29 years now.
Stoneware is just for fun with salt kiln now.
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#5 AmeriSwede

AmeriSwede

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • LocationFörslöv, Sweden

Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:53 AM

Beautiful tile and sink, Marc. Seeing that sink, makes me wish I had more skills in throwing large. Hope your recuperation is on track, with no problems!

As I am still in a renovation mode of 'this old house' I agree with a number of your remarks. The underestimating of the amount of work was very quickly an eye opener for me, though I did know prior to beginning that it would take a good deal of extra time. It's not near as quick as a drive down to Home Depot ® to pick up some of the 'tiles of the month special,' by any means.

And though mine is still a work in progress, I would reiterate to everybody, your statement, 'if you have the time to consider say a backsplash or other projects for your home- Do not let inexperience keep you from trying.'

Not having any education and little experience in 'throwing', I've opted to focus on the production of field tiles, molded relief tiles and extruded border tiles to accent the uniqueness of this particular old house. I've posted four pics below showing some of this tile work up till now as well as there being a couple of pictures on my profile page showing some of the relief border tiles I've produced to accent the antique terra-cotta floors I installed last year. Those were part of my learning experience that I will continue production of later, with regional sales through the supplier of the antique terra-cotta floor tiles. A possible 'bread & butter' item.

The first three photos shows these terra-cotta floor tiles bordered by some of the extrusion tiles I made. I was forced to design and extrude my own as I found nothing on the market that would cement to the floor, adjoining the floor tiles, yet have an overlapping front edge to cover the bordering (6mm thinner) laminate wood flooring. As the laminate is a floating floor above a hydronic radiant floor heating system it is certainly necessary to maintain a gap to allow for future movement as the floor breathes. My extrusion profile allows for this, while softening the edge of the floor tiles as they meet the wood flooring. The second photo is a floor pad of the terra-cotta tiles bordered by the extruded border tiles, I used as a 'fireproof' pad (and pedastol) for the antique 'kronspis' (crown stove) This cast iron wood-burning stove remains a functional backup heating source. Behind the kronspis is a traditional adobe (clay) wall which represents another learning technique for me in the clay processes. After stripping the old adobe blocks bare, re-plastering and smoothing with fresh adobe I then mixed up a traditional paint (1700's) using pigment, lime, horsehide glue and water which was applied on a remoistened wall. It turned out absolutely beautiful but was much more work than painting with todays materials/methods.

The last photo is of my present on-going project in the kitchen. It is of the backsplashes to the wood and electric cook stoves and counter. The focal point (border tile) behind the electric stove is of an organic design (Jugend-style) from the late 19th century which befits the house. Also this design repeats the motif of the backs of the Jugend style dining room chairs that we have. I mixed and used a stoneware glaze on these field tiles that I found in Stephen Murfitt's book,'The Glaze Book', which is very close to an actual wall color that was used in Scandinavia during the same time period. Glazing was another learning experience, as though I have the educational background in glass chemistry, I've none in ceramic chemistry. After two trial firings, I quickly honed in on better and more consistent results, for these tiles at least. I'm certainly eager and open for a lot of additional learning situations that I know await me in the future.

After I finish up the kitchen, which will include another molded relief tile that will serve as a baseboard, accenting this terra cotta floor, and some inlaid ceramic trim on the counter edging, I will move on to the bathroom area where a couple of months work, in regards to tile design and production, will commence.

Bottom line is a RE-reiteration of what you (and I) stated earlier '… if you have the time to consider say a backsplash or other projects for your home- Do not let inexperience keep you from trying.'

The amount of satisfaction that I've gleaned from these projects goes beyond any description of satisfaction, and though it has/will take(n) longer than initially estimated, I would certainly do it again, for both the learning experience and the satisfaction of doing. Over the coming decades, I look forward to being able to look back and reflect on these works, as you did in your posting.


Posted Image Posted Image




Posted Image Posted Image



------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#6 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,312 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

AmeriSwede
That tile work is great-That old wood stove is a real nice work in metal-Wonder what year that was made?
Is that wood floor fir?or something else?

My sink is really pretty small only 12 1/2 inches to outer rim
here's a few better shots for real size-its 30 years old now.
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#7 AmeriSwede

AmeriSwede

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • LocationFörslöv, Sweden

Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:04 AM

AmeriSwede
That tile work is great-That old wood stove is a real nice work in metal-Wonder what year that was made?
Is that wood floor fir?or something else?

My sink is really pretty small only 12 1/2 inches to outer rim
here's a few better shots for real size-its 30 years old now.


Thanks, Mark. It's been a fun project that will add more charm to this old house, of which I think it's now 'reeking with' (well... in a positive way). Certainly has more character than most new built factory stamped homes. Personally, I'm more impressed with the glazing on your tiles.... Though they wouldn't quite fit my plans of trying to maintain a basic (beginning) 1900's traditional feel into this renovation. That sink bowl is gorgeous! I've lately been contemplating the construction of a Leach style treadle wheel sometime after this house work is finished. Probably will start teaching myself to throw better at that time... and that sink looks like a nice goal to set out after. Thanks for posting it!

The cast iron stove, called a kronspis (crown stove) because of the top adornment, is indeed a beauty! It was included with the house when we purchased it. Though it had years of neglect and rust to overcome, a couple of full days of rust removal via wire brush/elbow grease and an application of carbon black restored its beauty. It was cast (25 pieces- weighing about 300#total) around 1890-1920 at a local iron foundry near here. Surprisingly these stoves are prolific in the resale market in Scandinavia and can be picked up for about $100 for a three-foot tall model or about $200 for one near this size of about 5-1/2 feet. I think the Norwegians actually took the prize, in the aesthetics arena. Real sculptural stuff from them.

This one is a jewel as it has the sliding doors (midway in the picture) that allows one to put in this hand-hammered copper kettle of water for coffee or tea or for the insertion of a cast-iron waffle maker built to replace the cover rings, literally becoming part of the structure. It also incorporates some of the features of a traditional kakelugn (tiled masonry stove) from the 1500-1600's. Even Benj. Franklin had remarked about the incredible efficiency of these stoves. The hot smoke/gases travel a serpentine interior channel of cast iron, which yields a greater surface area for heat retention. Even the 3-piece stove pipe behind the stove connecting to the chimney is cast iron. Incredible! Almost as efficient in heat output as a 'rocket stove.'

As the concrete slabbed underflooring serves as a thermal bank for the hydronic radiant floor heat, it turned out that wood, because of its insulating characteristics is not the best choice for surface. So sadly we elected to put in a (6mm) laminate floor in this room which allows better heat conductivity and looks like the 'real' wood we wanted to use. So though it looks like Birch, it is actually a very strong (35 year life) synthetic laminate product. As the bedroom should be a cooler environment we did choose to lay in a beautiful floating floor of oak in that room. The remainder of the house is finished with some manufactured ceramic floor tiling , but most is with the 1" thick handmade antique terra-cotta tiles. A wonderfully warm & cozy feeling on the bare feet during the winter.... for sure... and with easy maintenance. Reminds us of all the castle floors in the classic Disney animations (ie, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc). Posted Image

Incidentally, I think that area you live in is phenomenal in beauty. I moved there decades ago for grad school at HSU. After three weeks there, settling in prior to the start of school, I ended up moving on to Alfred NY, my first choice (late notification from the school). A part of me always wanted to return to live in your locale as it seemed so incredible!

Posted Image


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#8 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,312 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:49 PM


(Incidentally, I think that area you live in is phenomenal in beauty. I moved there decades ago for grad school at HSU. After three weeks there, settling in prior to the start of school, I ended up moving on to Alfred NY, my first choice (late notification from the school). A part of me always wanted to return to live in your locale as it seemed so incredible!)




I moved here for HSU in 71-This place has change a little but not like everywhere else-still not many people-as there is not much work-Eureka has grown 7,000 in 40 years-Arcata about 5,000. I live in a rural setting near the small town of Blue lake inland 4 miles.The raw beauty of here is the same still-Big trees rocky shores with angry ocean.
Thats a good story as I almost after 1976 thought about going to Alfred's for grad work-I choose not to be a teacher like the rest of my family.Stayed and made a go of it with pottery-still going strong with that.
I have to be near the sea-was born and raised in Ca. with strong ties to the ocean.


Back to your stove how long are the pieces you can feed it in a vertical manner?
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#9 AmeriSwede

AmeriSwede

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • LocationFörslöv, Sweden

Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:18 AM

The wood length is nominally best at about 13", though can fit up to about 16".
I moved to and lived in Arcata during the month of August '85, during the local 'Marijuana War' with the DEA ....Posted Image ... a time when hiking in those beautiful forests seemed a tad bit dangerous. I recall at least one helicopter being shot down during that time....Posted Image

It's wonderful that you were able to remain and continue from school with a successful ceramic venture!





------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#10 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, Montana State University-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,544 posts
  • Locationwhere Texas, Matamoros, Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico come together.

Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:11 AM

Ameriswede,
Beautiful tiles to complement that great stove. When I accompanied my husband to Northern Italy when he taught in Trento, I researched the tiled stove collection in the castle of Buonconsiglio and their archived on the designs of the baffles in various models. Those stoves are really beautiful. The collection ranges from 1500s to 1900s. The tiles are mostly Italian majolica on German/Austrian designs.
Marcia

#11 AmeriSwede

AmeriSwede

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 142 posts
  • LocationFörslöv, Sweden

Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:43 AM

I concur with you on that, Marcia. I have seen some absolutely gorgeous tiled stoves here as well.

To me... the most amazing thing about these beautiful tiled stoves is how incredibly efficient they are. One needs only to light a fire, adding several pieces of wood, that will continue to give off a gentle heat for up to 12 hours. Lighting the fire once in the morning and once at night will supply the room with a wonderful warmth for 24 hours, using only 4-5 pieces of wood in doing so!


------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users