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Found 14 results

  1. I fired 20 4"x4" raku tiles today and all but 4 broke either during the firing or as soon as they were removed from the kiln. I did fire them propped vertically on ceramic brick so I could remove them with tongs. They were hand built tiles with leaf impressions using Standard Ceramics 239 Raku clay. They cracked in half or close to in half. What caused them to crack? (I have been doing raku firings for 40 years). Diane
  2. From the album: Raku

    On Tuesday some friends helped me install the new lid with counter weight in my kiln shed. On Monday same friends dugs a hole for gravel for my raku kiln. I filled it with gravel and laid the half cinder blocks. After I put the cinderblocks down, they moved the frame in place. Today I raised the floor to a double cinderblock height . This weekend I will work of the stainless steel chamber lined with fiber. Beautiful weather after our early snow last week.
  3. I am having a small brick patio laid next month. The design is two intersecting circles of different sizes (one for the table, one for a firepit). To fill the tangent areas between them I am planning to integrate a few of my own handmade pavers. They won't be really large as I want them to last and am concerned about impact cracking them over time. I live in CT so freezing and thawing is definitely an issue. I would like some advice on this to make sure it works out well. Here's what I do know: I need to use a well-grogged mid to high fire clay that has a fixed firing range. It'll be cone 6 since my kiln doesn't go to 10. I need to make these fairly (and evenly) thick but not sure exactly how thick that needs to be... I plan to sand-set these, possibly using a polymer sand set as my morter or I may just let them sit on sand and gravel substrate with soil between to grow moss, creeping thyme or something along those lines. I will likely ask my landscaper to set up the base and edging, if it doesn't add too much to the cost. (He's very excited about the design). I'm not sure if a fully vitrified clay will really need glaze but I want to incorporate color and variety so I plan to use a mix of glazed and unglazed, possibly a few found objects/pebbles/glass blobs, etc. (I will probably use Amaco's Potter's Choice.) Is there anything else I should keep in mind? Pre-made, cone 6, moist clay recommendations that are available in the Northeast? Thanks in advance. -Susan Once completed I will post a picture.
  4. We moved here about a year ago and said the first thing we'd do is refit the bathroom. Well, we're about to start. We've chosen tiles for the walls and wonder about my making some tiles which could be a 'feature' as a strip from floor to ceiling. One might be in the shower, another strip might be a splashback behind the basin. Any suggestions or warnings about what to do, what not to do, best type of clay, etc. All comments welcomed - even the 'don't be stupid' variety! Thanks, Girts
  5. Hi Everyone, My wonderful mum has requested a garden feature - she has an amazing garden which she has created over more than 35 years. She took a photograph of a set of zodiac tiles that she saw in Italy and has sent me the photo as inspiration on the concept of creating a zodiac stepping stone tile feature - to be installed on the ground (as opposed to tiling on a wall). I have found a nice taupe coloured (her favourite colour) heavily grogged stoneware clay (the ceramic supplies guy recommended it for outdoor and durability, minimising wet-weather slips etc). I have drawn most of the designs and figured out a design of 12 large tiles. Now - my issues for which I lack experience, and would love your advice: Tile size I would like the tiles to be stepping stone size to make them a real eye-catching feature. I measured the biggest foot I could find (yes I actually asked someone if I could measure their big feet!) - a size 12 foot and it is 270mm (10.6"). I figured to ensure the foot is placed firmly in the middle of the step, with plenty of room for not hitting the edge the tiles (which would continuously place pressure on the edges) then they would need to be 400mm x 400mm (15.5") wide and 30mm (1.1") thickness. I know at this size I'll need to dry long and well and scoop out some of the clay on the back (but not too much so that it weakens the tile and it cracks under people's weight). Any tips or gotchas for sizing and creating tiles this size? Installation I have read up about installation types including installing directly on a bed of compacted sand/concrete (e.g. create a solid base of concrete and lay the tiles on top with outdoor tile fixture). However I also thought I could lay these paving stones and fix the tiles to these using outdoor tile fixture - this way the tiles have a solid (movable) base and I can potentially make them only 10-20mm thick as the paving stone becomes the major support. However I read on a paving site that having the tiles attached to pavers creates increased opportunity for water to get in between and, when cold enough for ice, the tile pops off the paver due to the expansion. This concerned me because my parent's house does get icy frosts intermittently in winter (but not snow). Does anyone have advice for the best installation method? Thanks & cheers, B.
  6. Hi, I'm new. Newly set up studio in garage...connected the kiln, focusing on tiles, still learning. I work with Standard 420 and 547 clay with lots of grog, and will fire to cone 6. I want to make some really earthy matte floor tiles, and am having a hard time finding matte glazes. The color range I am interested in is cream, burnt sienna , terra cotta (slightly pink?), earthy orange, mossy green, straw?. Attached is a pic.with colors that I love, but it is on a cement tile. Any suggestions on how to get this look- rustic texture and lovely variation on field tiles? It would be cool if these glazes blended/layered nicely with each other. Would they be sprayed on (I've never done that)? What about colorants to the clay and a clear matte glaze on top. I have little experience with colorants. I have never mixed my own glazes, but may be willing to learn (or have my local ceramic supplier mix them for me). Thanks very much. Happy to have this forum! Steph
  7. Hi all, I am attempting to set up a company to make Islamic Geometric tiles. Traditionally these are cut in Morocco from square earthenware tiles, but it has proved to be uneconomic to import them. I am therefore searching for alternative ways to produce them, and have recently been made aware of a Spanish company that makes the tiles from moulds, see link: http://www.alizares.es/home.htm I would like to set up a studio to replicate their process, but know nothing about ceramics or tile making. Please can anyone with any experience of tile making give me some tips so that I know where to begin. My thought was to laser cut the shapes into a piece of 12mm polycarbonate, with a 1mm thin sheet of stainless steel overlay. The clay could then be worked into the mould, which could then be lifted off. The stainless steel overlay would protect the polycarbonate from damage. The shapes would then be left to dry in situ and only moved when they were dry enough to do so without distortion. Would this work? How could I ensure even shrinkage so the shapes fitted precisely together again after firing? What is the best clay to use? What don't I know? I attach a picture of a sample pattern that I would be aiming to replicate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Keithyj
  8. A customer is asking for a pizza stone.This is a large slab tile used in an oven to bake a pizza. The question; Is a bisque tile good enough or do you have to fire it to stoneware? Should it be porous, or should it be vitrified? Anyone make these babies? Not to be confused with the Rossetta stone, which is another animal altogether. TJR.
  9. Hello I have been making tiles and flat-ish items and will soon do a firing but I'm not sure when the day comes how to stack the electric kiln for bisque firing and later for raku fire in an old kiln using propane. I dont have a lot of shelves Can anyone advise me Thanks Glen
  10. Hello all!! I am having an issue with my small tiles crazing. Very fine lines are showing up after a month. I am using b mix clay to ^06 first then paint/glaze then firing to ^5. I have made over 100 triangular tiles. Can I glaze them again with clear glaze and fire to a low fire? Or are these trash!!!! Thanks!!! The crazing is actually pretty so I don't have a problem with it as far as visuals. My concern more so is the moisture issue. Linda
  11. Can anyone tell me why these broke during 04 firing? 4 out of 6 broke. Are these cooling breaks? I used paragons schedule that they have on you tube. But during the cooling phase the alarm sounded and flashes FTC (failure to cool). I don't understand that since this is what paragon is showing to do. Very confused. Thanks Linda
  12. I have a new Paragon Kiln TNF-82 with a 12 key Sentry digital controller. I am so very confused as to the firing schedules. Ie. ramp up. Cool down etc. I used to own a manual kiln with a kiln sitter. I just put the bar in and it shut off when done. Now, can I fire the same way, or do I need to do a ramp up and slow cool? I am firing 12 x 12 x 1/2" tiles. First to bisque, then to ^6. I plan on stacking 4 on each shelf as suggested by an expert to bisque. Do I need to slow cooling down? Does anyone have a firing scedule for bisque and glaze firing I could follow? Its taken 3 weeks to dry these tiles, (46) and I really hate to see them mess up because I did something stupid! I have read all over the internet and have bought several books, but am still so confused!! I am sure i will learn and love my new digital, but right now it's very intimidating!!! Please help!! Please!!! Thank you Linda
  13. I'm working on a couple of tile-inlay projects, and thus looking to firing some 40+ tiles over the next week (most of which are 4*4). I'd like to streamline and improve the process. There are two areas in particular I'd like to tweak... 1) Maximizing output from each firing. If I lay the tiles flat, I can get nine tiles on the shelf. I've never tried to use stacked shelves, or fire the tiles on their sides (with support) but I'd consider this if the outcomes would be good. I'd worry that shelves might change the temp gradient or the reduction/oxidation conditions within the kiln, and that side-firing might lead to warping or cracking. 2) Efficiently moving the tiles to the post-fire reduction chamber. As of now, I'm scootching each tile to the edge, grabbing it with my tongs, and placing it in the reduction bucket. It's a frustratingly slow process... by the time I get all nine tiles bucketed (three to a chamber) I worry that I've missed out on the best of the reduction effects. Picking the tiles up with my kevlar gloves does not speed things up. I've considered placing the reduction chamber next to the kiln and 'flicking' the tiles into the bucket... but I worry about fracturing. Anyhow, if anyone has grappled with this and has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
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