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Making and firing Raku tiles

I have just had in one or two orders and enquiries concerning Raku tiles.

Making them  can drive you to despair- what with their tendancy to warp, crack and shrink! It's amazing how something so simple is in actual fact so hard to make.  It's also very difficult to  lift a flat object out of the kiln with tongs from a red hot kiln. Well, with some prior experience,  I've developed a firing system for tiles now which is now working pretty well. Quite simply, I lay each tile on a flat bed of ceramic fibre. That way each tile is raised slightly off the kiln shelf- and it's then easy to grasp the tile with tongs and drop into your reduction chamber/smoking bin.

I stack  two or three kiln shelves and can pack in  about 20 tiles in one batch - depending on size. I do let the kiln cool slightly before carefully removing each shelf of tiles. I back off the gas- get each shelf of tiles out- then power back up to temperature and repeat till they're all safely out of the kiln.  I take the temperature up to 1020 degrees c.  This is slightly hot for Raku but gives you a better chance of the shiny copper penny finish, with a high alkaline raku glaze.  It also seems to deliver a more durable and lasting surface.






Comments

  1. Technique, skill, artistry, plain hard work ... Beautiful results! They look really lovely Shaun. Curious to know where they'll be mounted ... Vertical or horizontal surface?

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are bound for a vertical space I think!

    ReplyDelete

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