Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Fun Thing for Herbfest

A few of the picture tiles I've made with herb themes have come out of the kiln. There are more in the kiln now, which is 'on', even though the temperature today is over 32C. Oy. And tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter and the whole weekend is going to be over 30C. So Herbfest will be a hot one, not to mention that my booth at the Market will be stifling on Saturday. Good thing potters are tough!

These tiles are very simple. I roll a thin (1/4" or less) slab, then basically rip them into the sizes and shapes I want. I run a rounded point (like a pencil or a thick needle tool) along the line, then gently lift the clay and rip along the line. Sounds odd, but it works easily. Then I just let them dry, bisque them, dip them in my glaze and paint the designs on top. Then fire them to cone6, just like my tableware.

This one is only about 3 inches 'square'. I like them weird sizes as it makes every one of them a composition challenge! Tile adhesive sticks them to pre-stretched canvas panels (available at my friendly local art supply store). There are a few different kinds of tile adhesive. I use the one for walls and it works great. In a pinch, the tile can be soaked off, although it ruins the canvas panel. The only one I have ever had back because the tile came off was from a store owner who hung one right in the drip from his roof. Here are a few of them:

These panels are painted black, but of course you can paint them any colour. One of these days, somebody is going to ask for one in, say, fire-engine red.... let's hope I'm in a good calm mood that day.

Another simple thing for my booth at Herbfest is planters suitable for growing a few herbs on a step or balcony. Not a very exciting project, but the glaze is nice. This is a variation on the Variegated Slate Blue in 'Mastering Cone 6 Glazes' by Ron Roy and John Britt.. I love the colour, and would like to make tableware in it, but I'd have to get it tested for food safety. It has copper in it and, being at least satin-matte, is probably not a very hard glaze. But I love the way it sparkles and shows depth where it runs. It was great on my bonsai pots earlier, too.

Not a great picture, sorry. Too hot in there to work at photography!

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