Thursday, January 3, 2013

Test Tile Time

There are a lot of ways to make test tiles. A simple slab bent into an L shape with a hole at the top for hanging on a peg board may be one of the easiest. I've tried a lot of different tiles and there is one consistent result. The information I get is not complete. so I set about designing and making the perfect test tile.

What I need to know is a complete run of (1)what one glaze over another glaze will look like, (2)I need a variation with a stamp impression, (3) a variation with a slip trail, (4) what does Strontium Crystal Magic Warm added to the mix?, (5) SCM-Cool?, and finally (6) I need both horizontal and vertical tests to see what/if gravity has any effect.

I made a spread sheet to show what glazes go over and which go under in order. Then I drew what I thought would give me the information I needed. Then I wondered - How exactly am I going to be able to reference this? can I hang this on a peg board? How long is it going to take me to make these tiles? How many do I need? (min. 196, btw.)

Frankly, there is a tile that is perfect in shape, gives me all the info that I'm looking for based off a tile that Julia Galloway and Lilly Zuckerman used in a glaze workshop I took at the Archie Bray. A larger version of that extruded die would be perfect. One problem. I don't have a clue how to make a die. I have a blank, but don't feel I have the time to teach myself this. I need tiles now. So this is how I started.

I threw a ring on my 16" bats. The issue is how to make these big enough, wide enough, tall enough AND storable.

So then I thought smaller versions on my 6" bat inserts would be the trick, I can throw a 3/4# ball into a  horizontal and vertical surface at the same time. But that dang storage issue comes up again.

So back to the extruder I went. A hexagonal cylinder is still the best option, the fastest to make, cut, alter as necessary. Now I just need to make at least 200 of them. And for the horizontal surface information, I think I'll just make slabs to cut, with a hole and the corresponding tests can hang on the same peg.

2' lengths of hexagonal cylinders for cutting.

Cut to 3 1/2 inch heights.
Slip trailed, Stamped, SCM Warm and Cool, a nice big hole for hanging and the side that will be marked  what glazes are involved. One side is also completely smooth.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some test tiles to make.

No comments: