Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Tile Project that Wouldn't Die

The Tile Project: An exercise in frustration.

The Idea

Create tiles for my shower stall using the theme of a fish ladder. Now, I must tell you that this will (drumroll) be the third attempt at making free-form fish-impressed tiles that will FIT on the WALL after firing. (rimshot)

Really, I must have some sort of tile dyslexia. I have measured carefully, I have constructed carefully, I have fired carefully and still, they do not fit.

The Process

I made a clay ruler to measure the shrinkage. The inches were marked and I bisque fired, glazed and fired again. I calculated the shrinkage of the tile.

I then made a paper pattern to fit the three walls of the shower. A la Renaissance cartoons for frescoes, I marked grids on the walls and made exactly the same grids on the paper. I drew the pattern on the paper. I cut the individual squares out and numbered them. I used a copy machine to increase the pattern to correspond with the percentage of the shrinkage of the clay. Good analytical thinking, right?

After rolling, impressing, cutting to grid, bisquing and firing, they still didn't fit. Too much shrinkage.

I modified the design. I decided instead of making a free-flow pattern which had too much risk of warpage and poor fit, I would make a band or frieze with new design.

I am making the tiles now.

Pray for me.

1 comment:

Patricia Griffin said...

You are a brave soul! May the force be with you!... Looking forward to seeing a pic of the final, beautiful project!