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Recent Tiles

tiles from wall to wall
So these represent the best tiles I have fired in the last year, and include tests for brushwork and the saggar firing, there is so much variation and I have started to mount them in some new ways as I think these go beyond throw away objects.

For a while I have been thinking about tiles as an act of experimentation, they are something that can be created in the fraction of time for throwing, there is a lot less focus that goes into creating them, no hunching over the wheel.  In some ways they are quite disposable.

I don’t generally use tile for glaze tests as they don’t have gravity and thickness’s similar to pots but I do use them to test ideas, patterns, new  and more recently my saggars to see what effects are possible.  In these sorts of ways the tiles are part of the experimentation and systematic testing that I was used to when I was a chemistry student many moons ago.

Cockles Alive Oh
So this was my first test tile in a saggar, this actually gave me more confidence about saggar firing than any other piece in that kiln. it is mounted on a scrap piece of plywood that whitewashed and waxed. A lot of the wood I use for mounting and framing would otherwise just end up in landfill.
Time to shave around here
I just love the marks shells leave on the honey glaze, and the horses tail leaves an amazing texture too. The round osb was cut because I wanted some more throwing batts but after I these ones I wasn’t sure they would last as batts so I decided to try this one for a mount and I quite like it due to it being so different.
Fossilised Reflections
The marks just left by the shells and the reduction in my little kiln are amazing, I can’t help but stare at them. These were placed on top of each other so have the same shells but they appear reflected. The tile on the left has a porcelain slip which affects the colour too.
Seriously what were you thinking?
These don’t fit this shadow box and I will make them a new frame in September.
The frame was orriginally intended for the large tile above but was based on it shrinking from bisque to vitrified, but it was a few millimetres off so it doesn’t fit but it looks better with the two reflections.
Moral of the story wait until you have finished work before building it a frame.
Cobalt is so blue
I started working on my brush work last year but haven’t had much chance to get back to it in recent months, but cobaly markings and sgraffito are the only ways I can find that get around that feeling of my work not being reduction fired.
honey to the be thats you for me
I do like graduations in colour going from light to dark. The tile on the left is unglazed with porcelain slip and some flashing. The other two tiles have my honey glaze and varying amounts of local reduction.
Ready set go
These are some older tests in a shadow frame that I made. The tiles are a homemade porcelain my standard clay with iron added and some commercial black clay.
It is made from cutting down some pine that was in the bin pile, the problem is it was quite ugly. I was wrapping blue painters masking tape around it and I really liked the blue it seemed to tie everything together.
Old wonky tiles can be beautiful too
A tile I made in 2012 to test sgraffito, high fired terracotta and a commercial white slip, with lustre for windows. In a shadow box frame.

These are my first attempts at framing and I want to do more, and I want to work a lot more in tiles. I also want to work more at creating my own clays.  These so far really have my creative juices flowing.

In case you didn’t see it my new youtube mini-series started woodworking for potters

So what do you the reader like and have you ever framed your ceramic work?

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  1. tiles are useful as glaze tests etc,but as you’ve found can be framed and sold (Hannah and Doug do this too) or even used at home…as tiles!

    1. I made a concious decision to make bigger tiles the older tiles are 6cm square and aren’t much use as they are thin and very wonky. I made a mould like Doug and Hannah but the test one I made I just don’t like it bounces every which way when I try and use it.

      I have thought about using them as tiles but can’t produce the quantity and the quality isn’t where I want it yet.

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