Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tile Table - Finished Product

The very first year I made yearly goals, one of my goals was learning how to fabricate tile from its (relatively) principle components. To me, this meant using clay, glaze and:
  1. Rolling it out to an appropriate thickness (3/8 of an inch thick for a 1/4 thick finished tile)
  2. Hand building designs on the tiles, if applicable
  3. Drying them properly (very slowly, on newspapers so it can have some give, covered in plastic)
  4. Trimming and sanding the dry tiles so they look smooth and finished
  5. Bisque firing them in a kiln, which involves loading them in a not dumb way - this is where you find out if step number 1 left any air bubbles in them, creating bombs inside the kiln, instead of pieces of art
  6. Applying glaze in the correct fashion (dipping), the correct period of drying between applications (2 days) and carefully cleaning the glaze off the portions that should not be glazed
  7. Glaze firing them in the kiln, with all the same considerations as bisque firing, except now also being concerned with dripping glaze destroying someone else's project or permanently attaching my tile to the kiln
  8. Bringing the hippy craft studio workers home made wine or beer, or nice microbrew (they were over 21) for the lessons in ceramics, keeping the craft studio open for me, and being extremely liberal in the material consumption policy 
In order to complete this table, I had about three times as many rejected tiles that I did not use. These tiles have since become accents in my father's construction project.

After giving the table to my father and mother for Christmas, my dad has since added an amazing cherry border to the table, as well as resurfacing the metal legs and framing. 

The bright blue with the Zias remind me of the New Mexican sky, and the sandy grout of the sandy earth we have in many parts of the state here.

Thanks to my buddy Jeremy Brewster for taking these picture! If things slow down with my software business, one of my plans is to start another, bigger, tile project at the UNM craft studio. It was a great deal of fun being involved in a creative process there, and that's where I met my friend Kevin Horschel (a.k.a K-Dawg.) 


Efrain Grijalva said...

What a Great looking table.
I like the color of the tiles.


Efrain Grijalva said...
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