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Friday, December 14, 2012
There are two schools of thought when it comes to hand made tiles. Some consider handmade to be any tile which is handled by human hands. For example, tiles which can be extruded in flat strips and cut to dimension then pressed into a mold by hand are regarded to be handcrafted ceramic tiles.
However, other folks consider only tiles that are hand rolled out in the time honored technique of wedging the clay to extract the air out of the clay then rolled flat with a rolling pin followed by hand reducing to the wanted dimensions, to be really handmade tiles.
Either way, these tiles tend to be more pricey than mass developed commercial but offer a great deal of style latitude.
Perhaps one of one of the most stunning types of handcrafted tile are relief tiles. They provide dimension to an otherwise flat surface.
To commence this method a carving is done in porcelain. When that is done a plaster mold is taken from it. Unfortunately the initial carving rarely survives this method. Of course this makes a truly one of a kind tile.
After the plaster mold has been created the clay is then pressed and pounded into this mold, making the relief tiles. At this stage the tile is prepared for drying. It’s important that drying goes little by little. If the clay dries too rapidly, the tile will warp and perhaps crack.
Once the tile is dry, it can be painted with under glaze to make all the more design. When the under glaze has dried, the tile can then be fired for the first time, normally within a kiln of 2000 degrees. Now the tiles are hard and the colour bonded to the clay.
A wash of under glaze is then placed on the tile, but wiped off. What this does is produces depth by leaving the under glaze in the recesses of the tile. The first under glaze applied is already forever adhered to the tile so it remains on the raised part. If the artist selected not to utilize the first coat of under glaze, the all-natural color from the tile will appear through the under glaze wash.
Nearly completed, but not quite, a clear glaze is added and the handcrafted tile is fired once more. This supplies a glass like, extremely glossy finish. The tile has become complete and ready for set up. However, if a metallic or mother of pearl luster finish is wanted, it would be applied at this stage and fired once more at a considerably decreased temperature.
Field tile, or flat tile, is processed in much the same way, with exception they are not pressed in the mold for the sculpted look.
Whether you end up picking just one accent handcrafted tile or even a total wall of handmade subway tile, these tiles are incredibly special and might add a lot of attraction to the décor.
For more information about handcrafted ceramic tile in Chicago and all of your flooring options you can visit our website at www dot greatwesternflooring dot com or one of our 3 design centers in the greater Chicago area, Naperville, Oswego or St. Charles. You can also call one to speak with one of staff members: Naperville 630.357.3331, Oswego 630.236.2201, St. Charles 630.488.3000.