Monthly Archives: July 2009

HOT

It is really hot here in the Pacific Northwest…what is up with that?  I usually worry about using some of my materials – like cement and mortars – in the low-range temperatures – not the high end.  I complain all winter that my studio isn’t heated and I have to wait for the temperature to go above 40 to work…not that it’s pleasant considering the cold water necessary to mix cement, but I can’t help myself…now, I have to make sure the cement isn’t drying too fast.  I’ve got 3 projects I’m working on, and thankfully, I’ve got 2 of them to a point where I can work in the house…where there’s air conditioning…

I’ve got no photos today, but for all you animal lovers out there, check out my very favorite blog (of course, your favorite is mine)…www.fupenguin.com …you won’t be disappointed…

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Tiles

I’m working with a client that wants a new fireplace surround…I’m really excited about it because I’m going to be able to make some custom tiles for her.   Creating tile for a specific person is a challange – I never want to let them down.  First we come up with a design – abstract, figurative, deco, etc…once that’s been finalized, I make a plaster mold in order to replicate the exact design…I do this by carving out a tile in clay, letting it get slightly stiff, then pour the plaster, wait till it sets completely, and voila!  Once I have the mold I can use it over and over (eventually it can lose its detailing, but that takes a while)…I fire the tiles, then glaze and fire again…There are other ways to make custom tiles – the swan and flower below were done by putting a thick layer of underglaze on a leatherhard tile (unfired) and then carving through the glaze to reveal an image, using the color of the clay as the background color.

If you don’t understand these processes, feel free to contact me and I’ll tell you how I do them in more detail.LStrout_5tiles_asst