Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,
I am completely new in this field, my work so far has focused on plaster modeling.
But soon I would like to start a new project, which requires a lot of knowledge in clay processing.
I would like to make two fireplace surrounds (designed in the style of the attached plan),

one for a decorative fireplace and one for a real fireplace which already has a cast iron insert whit a brick mantle.

I would like to know for the first one, for the decorative one, I need to burn the tiles or not.

It's about some large parts, for example 2 corbels 80x20 cm. Also I would like to know if such large parts should have any reinforcement system for example made of wire or iron.  

The material, the clay is good as I find it in commerce as it is or will need to be added some additives to avoid the appearance of fissures without burning.

For the symmetry of the parts, I thought it would be good to carve one part and the other to copy it with a plaster coating.

I look forward to any suggestions.
Thank you all

 

Plan.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say burning I am assuming you mean firing and yes I think you will need to fire your tiles in a kiln. I am a little confused, the clay tiles are in the two rectangle areas on mantel and outlining the fire box and the rest is wood, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

adriana, your surround looks very attractive but complicated to do in clay.   if i read your post correctly, you expect to make them  in one large section, that is 3 all together.   i cannot see how you would be able to do that since you have no experience with clay.  most potters would make many individual tiles for the entire surround.   the final installation would be done with tiles set in a material like cement that would hold them flat against the wall.

you probably have already looked at the internet and seen  beautiful tile installations.  there are many photos in architectural magazines showing gorgeous work all over the world.  if you find some, look carefully at the small seams where the individual tiles are placed next to each other.   real experts can hide those seams well by creating ways to overlap one section to another.

i have always admired the plaster work done by experts on ceilings and walls.  perhaps you might reconsider making the fireplace surround in plaster.

Edited by oldlady
correction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew I’ve seen photos of large architectural ceramic corbels, and of course it turned out to be Marcia Selsor’s work:

 

@A.Adriana, it’s possible to build these out of clay, but keep in mind there is quite a bit of expertise required! Marcia is a lifelong practitioner. Which is not to say that you are not capable of doing it, you seem like an experienced artist. Just be prepared for a big learning curve. And yes, they do need to be fired, even if the fireplace is non-functional. 

Edit to add: they will not be reinforced, because reinforcing materials cannot be fired along with ceramic. The ceramic will shrink and the reinforcement will not. They will be hollow, and constructed to be self supporting. 

If you know how to make plaster casts, I suggest making the master out of modeling clay (oil-based clay) rather than ceramic. Then make a plaster mold and cast both halves of the final ceramic pieces from the molds. 

Edited by GEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My fireplace surround was in PMI a decade or so ago. These are corbels. I used a right angle jig to construct them. 

My friend Stephani Stephenson and I taught an architectural workshop in Italy in 2012.

Here is her website. Her business is Revival Tile.  http://www.revivaltileworks.com

For corbels I built a right angle jig also in another PMI and in a book on contemporary sculptural techniques.. 

Marcia

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Marcia Selsor said:

My fireplace surround was in PMI a decade or so ago. These are corbels. I used a right angle jig to construct them. 

https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/daily/clay-tools/making-clay-tools/the-right-angle-jig-for-geometric-ceramic-sculpture/ 

you can search the archives if you search the link at the top of the page for  Ceramics Arts Network  and hot the search button for whatever you are searching.  

On my examples of architectural tiles  I deleted many because I used up my allotted image space a long time ago.

 

My friend Stephani Stephenson and I taught an architectural workshop in Italy in 2012.

Here is her website. Her business is Revival Tile.  http://www.revivaltileworks.com

For corbels I built a right angle jig also in another PMI and in a book on contemporary sculptural techniques.. 

Marcia

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2020 at 3:44 PM, Stephen said:

When you say burning I am assuming you mean firing and yes I think you will need to fire your tiles in a kiln. I am a little confused, the clay tiles are in the two rectangle areas on mantel and outlining the fire box and the rest is wood, right?

I intend to do all the surround  elements out of clay, divided into more parts: 2 corbels,  elements of the frame outlining the fire box, the cornice, frieze, entablature, the architrave and the base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2020 at 4:37 PM, oldlady said:

adriana, your surround looks very attractive but complicated to do in clay.   if i read your post correctly, you expect to make them  in one large section, that is 3 all together.   i cannot see how you would be able to do that since you have no experience with clay.  most potters would make many individual tiles for the entire surround.   the final installation would be done with tiles set in a material like cement that would hold them flat against the wall.

you probably have already looked at the internet and seen  beautiful tile installations.  there are many photos in architectural magazines showing gorgeous work all over the world.  if you find some, look carefully at the small seams where the individual tiles are placed next to each other.   real experts can hide those seams well by creating ways to overlap one section to another.

i have always admired the plaster work done by experts on ceilings and walls.  perhaps you might reconsider making the fireplace surround in plaster.

The chimneypiece pattern is designed after an interesting XVIII century work. I want to make it in more section: the corbels, elements of the frame, the cornice, frieze, entablature, the architrave and the base. Also all the corners will have to be made separately. I opted for a surround made of clay, because it can radiate heat mean while the plaster or stone does not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2020 at 5:10 PM, GEP said:

I knew I’ve seen photos of large architectural ceramic corbels, and of course it turned out to be Marcia Selsor’s work:

 

@A.Adriana, it’s possible to build these out of clay, but keep in mind there is quite a bit of expertise required! Marcia is a lifelong practitioner. Which is not to say that you are not capable of doing it, you seem like an experienced artist. Just be prepared for a big learning curve. And yes, they do need to be fired, even if the fireplace is non-functional. 

Edit to add: they will not be reinforced, because reinforcing materials cannot be fired along with ceramic. The ceramic will shrink and the reinforcement will not. They will be hollow, and constructed to be self supporting. 

If you know how to make plaster casts, I suggest making the master out of modeling clay (oil-based clay) rather than ceramic. Then make a plaster mold and cast both halves of the final ceramic pieces from the molds. 

Thanks for the interesting suggestions.

I am very interested in the shrinking process. Could I calculate the percentage? Considering that I have small parts of some centimeters and others about almost one meter, and different thicknesses?

And yes indeed, I have no great experience in working with clay, but as an archaeologist I have studied a lot about terracotta, which I think will be very useful in this work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can calculate the shrinkage of the clay, but you'll first need to test to see what the shrinkage is. Make a small slab, mark a 10cm line on it, then measure after firing. That shrinkage won't necessarily be consistent throughout the project, though. It can change depending on the moisture level of your wet clay, and how you construct things. Don't expect to be able to fit everything perfect. You'll need to leave grout joints to compensate for the lack of precision.

I think you're going to find that this is much more complicated than you think. Pieces must be even in thickness, with really good construction techniques. It would be easier to work in smaller pieces, rather than making meter long elements. Do you have a kiln that can fire pieces that long? Consider making those big pieces in 3 sections instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, A.Adriana said:

I intend to do all the surround  elements out of clay, divided into more parts: 2 corbels,  elements of the frame outlining the fire box, the cornice, frieze, entablature, the architrave and the base.

Since the failure rate is likely to be high from one section  to the next you might consider building and firing section one after another instead of at the same time so you can make minor adjustments as u go. If the shrinkage is kind of all over the place and you build and move all the parts together from worktable to glaze then it might be more of a pain to match in replacement parts for the failures.

Just a thought. Sounds like a fun project, good luck with it. Hope you share your experiences and pictures with us when you are done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.