Friday, May 14, 2010

Trees and Tiles

Catalpa Tree bloom

We have these Catalpa Trees on the other side of the pond. They have bloomed every year we have lived here, but nothing like this year. They are covered.
Mark brought me back a bloom the other night while he was out fishing. I had never seen one up close and I am amazed at their beauty.
Just think they have been right here under my nose all these years and I forgot to look at them!
Funny how we have those moments where we forget to take in what is around us.

A quick congratulations  to Hitomi amd Takuro - baby boy born last night around 8 pm!

The tile back splash is coming along, as long as things dry out the way I want them.
  I say I - but Mark jumped in to help me.
I am using a cone 6 clay body from Highwater Clays.
Red Stone.
I like the red stone for tiles and hand building. It could probably have a bit  more of grog in it for the size of these tiles.
I have high hopes I can pull this off with the clay body as is.
I am rolling the tiles to 3/4 of an inch and then carving away 1/4th of an inch for the design.
The customer wants a heavy relief on the tiles. She loves lots of texture and it shows in everything in the house from the tree and water feature that grace the foyer, to the leaf steps that lead down to the lower portion of the house. Lot's of texture and interesting elements in this house.

It takes about 4 to 5 days after rolling the tiles to be ready to lay down the pattern.
I place my plastic transfer on top and trace with a pen.
Then I lightly go over the design.
Cover, weight and leave.
The next day I start removing a layer of clay.
Cover and weight.
Then I really start moving out the clay.
Cover and weight.
As the tile becomes more dry and  I have hit my mark on the thickness I clean up the design.
Cover and wait.

And cross fingers.....
This group is now under plastic on old refrigerator shelf for air drying- nice and slow.
Meanwhile, it is time for a gas load.
Mark has been busyfiring the electric kilns to get all the pots ready for planning.
Today- no tiles on to stoneware.


Linda Starr said...

Your tiles are turning out great. What a lot of work that is. thanks for the info on your process; it is interesting to learn all about it; the type of clay, the thickness, how far down to carve. What do you weight the clay down with? I've got my fingers crossed for the drying cabinet.

Tracey Broome said...

Seems like you did a post a long time ago about how you do tiles and it has stayed with me ever since. I always follow your steps when I make them:)
You are definitely wired in on the tile making! These are great!!

Anonymous said...

the tiles are looking very good... hope they dry successfully. i noticed the catalpas yesterday, i've always loved the blossoms to me they look like little orchids. around here the consider them a "weed" tree which i'm not sure what that means but i alway enjoy it when they bloom. they can be pollarded successfully too.

ang said...

ooh coming along nicely...nothing like a nice carve...

jeannette said...

It's good that the customer know what he/she wants! the tiles are looking good!
And the blooms are so pretty:)

cindy shake said...

Your attention to those tiles is so paying off! They are turning out beautiful! That tree is GORGEOUS, I'm jealous our birch trees just started leafing out -yaay!

Laurie said...

Hmmm, gonna have to learn about catalpas. Not one I've learned yet.

cookingwithgas said...

thanks all- there is no rushing tiles- I have taken a quick peek under the plastic, but it is all in the waiting.
Jim- those weeds trees are probably that because they are native???