Monday, January 21, 2013

Wedding Show and Test Tiles

Peasley Pottery is going to be in it's first wedding show this March!!  Exciting....frightening...maybe both.    I picked up some new glazes and before trying them on finished pots, I will test them on small tiles.   Normally, I have a stock of test tiles in a box, but when I go to the box I find it to be empty!  Hmmmm....how is that so???   I have only tested 1,000,000,001 combinations of glaze in the last year, I'm out already???  

Making test tiles takes a few days, and that doesn't include the bisque firing.  It is best to keep test tiles in stock.  Something I was doing until I ran out....

Usually when I get a new clay, I  immediately make test tiles.  Unfortunately, two of the six clays are new to the studio in the last two weeks.  I will need more of these tiles in order to test all the glaze combinations I have in stock. Whereas, three of the clay bodies have been around for a while and most of the glazes have been tested on them already.  We don't need to repeat history, so that will save time.

I start the test tiles by extruding hollow squares in long sections and letting them set up.  Then I cut these sections with a long razor blade in 3" lengths and set aside.  Once I have all the tubes cut down into 3" sections, I again cut these sections in half on the diagonal which creates a clay fold, like a greeting card, that can stand free in the kiln during firing. 

Extruded Hollow Square Tubes

3" Sections prior to final cut

Once in half, I stamp it with a reference number, a design on one side and a hole for hanging (optional).  If at this point I have any slip decorating, under glaze or other techniques to test out, I apply that now.

Because of the wedding theme coming up,  I wanted to try out my cake decorating kit (yes, I stole it from my kitchen and put it in the studio where it will probably get more use).   I mixed up slip to the consistency of frosting, or close to it.  The first batch of slip was too loose, so I had to remix it.  The second batch was a little firmer, but still not as firm as I'd like it to be.  Over all it worked for the tests and did pipe out fine.  Below are the tiles with the piping tests....and moose/deer tracks!

White stoneware test tiles with slip piping

It should be an interesting few weeks preparing for the wedding show, filling other orders and my favorite EXPERIMENTING!!!!  

Bunny Teapot, Floral Vase, two Urns on drying rack

The Poppy Vases....I hope to finish under glazing them soon...I can't wait to see the final product!

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