Sunday, September 13, 2015

Making a ceramic tile for slumping

Ok -Gang - here is how I made the ceramic tile for fusing - again you can make this in your glass kiln but its important that the piece is totally dry and try and keep it flat - so lets start
Preparing the clay tile
Step 1 - get the right clay that we can work with - a low fire cone 04 clay
I get a product from Tuckers Pottery called Low White cone 04 clay - It comes in a box and two huge bags of clay - around 25.00 (there is enough clay to make tons of tiles- its a pre pugged clay which means well mixed



Step 2 - take a large chunk and I am lucky to have a rolling table but after rolling i transfer to a piece of drywall - I use that to roll out about 1/4" thick - I also use a silicone rolling pin to work finish it before I apply the stamp




Step 3 - check your thickness - no more than 1/4" thick
check your diameters so its large enough - to fit

Step 4 - lay stamp pattern side down - pat down a bit a bit- ok a lot - just lift a corner to make sure its deep  - then slowly start from centre roll to top - then to bottom- you can peek a bit to see if the stamp is impressing - worst case you pull off and roll up the clay and rework it- I push down all over with my fingers and palm just to be sure
Step 5 - Once rolled - take a clay knife and trim the edges - if a bit ragged just run the knife down the edges to true them up
Step 6 - start to peel off the rubber stamp - it should come away pretty cleanly without lifting your clay -

Step 7 - do not move it from the drywall -  -let it get leather hard - if interrupted at any time just put a damp cloth over your work-  the drywall will suck the moisture out evenly from the bottom while the top drys 

Step 8 - after about a day it should have hardened up a - if it starts to curl - place some weighted objects around the edges - not heavy enough to squish the pattern
The hard part is waiting for it to dry - need about 1 week so that its totally dry - its important before firing that the piece is totally dry

Bisque Firing schedule
Once the clay is dry - the firing of the clay makes it a bisque what is needed for slumping -
Its what is called a Med cone 04 Bisque Firing
5 segments
Seg 1 325/hr to 1024 Hold 0
Seg 2 153/hr to 1112 Hold 0
Seg 3 180/hr to 1837 Hold 0
Seg 4 108/hr to 1945 Hold 0
Seg 5 150/hr to 1000 Hold 0
Its a long fire so be patient - dont peek and dont take out till under 100°F
Once you have it - if your using Boron Nitride spray as per instructions 







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