Skip to main content

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

Post a Comment

Comments...

Popular posts from this blog

Some more Crater glaze test results

I've been blathering on about Crater and Lava Glaze recipes here and on Facebook too. I suddenly "got the bug" as well as a commission- (more on this later) so hence the rather manic activity testing out glazes and destroying kiln shelves in the process with runny, bubbling glazes.

I tested 2 recipes- after first trying the usual recipes from the internet and in various books. As I suspected - few of them gave satisfactory results- either it was "pilot error" or the glaze authors just happen to neglect to tell you that vital missing  ingredient, kiln temperature or soak time etc! (Know the type of thing?)

Anyway I resorted to testing 2 standard glaze recipes which I've had for years. A turquoise matte and a Lucy Rie white stoneware. The jury is still out on the turquoise variant- but the white is rather nice. A little suggestion from Potter Jan Lewin Cadogan http://www.janlewin-cadogancontemporaryceramics.co.uk/
put me right by suggesting to mix the glaze …

Wobbly bowls

18 years a "potter" and only now can I really say that I can make a great,wobbly rimmed tea bowl!
They're rather fun to do and are achieved by pinching up clay between thumb and forefinger on three sides, then throwing on  and using the edge of a rib to incise patterns in the wet clay. Turning is a bit of a bugger afterwards, but they're getting there...








New work at Galleries just in!

Lots of new pots just arrived at Builth Wells at Erwood  Station Gallery. Also new stock just in at Sota Gallery in Witney.
Goodbye little pots!