How to Make High Quality Handmade Tile
If you are interested in remodeling your home, then you should consider trying your hand at making a set of handmade tiles. The range of tiles offered in most stores can usually provide you with the color and shape that you want, but even so, there is nothing like a handmade tile. Making your own tiles can give your room a rustic and appealing quality that it would not otherwise have, and you can also make a lot of them for much less than it would cost you to buy and install. So long as you make your handmade tile to good quality, they should stay intact for many years to come.
Before you can even begin to consider making your own tiles, you need to know how to get access to a kiln. Many people try and harden their tiles in an oven, as you do with clay models, but an ordinary oven is just not hot enough to make a tile out of clay. If you have access to a kiln, then you can proceed. Prepare the cutting board by covering it with the canvas material. You need to keep the bottom of the board level, so stick the canvas to the table if necessary. Take your cheese wire, and wrap it around the board until you have a piece about 6 inches long left to cut the clay with.
Cut and Manipulate the Clay
Place your clay on top of the canvas-covered board. Take your cheese wire, and cut off the very top of the clay. Below that, cut off a slice of clay around 2 to 3 inches thick. Take the rest of your clay, and place it into a plastic bag, as this will prevent it from drying out. With the slice of clay, place it back on the board, and pound it down with your palm. Put the wood strips on either side of the slab to make it regular, and cover the slice with the canvas. Take the rolling pin, and roll the strip out.
Make the Tile
Once the slice is flat, measure it out, so that you have a piece around 6 inches in length and width. Cut off any excess clay. The tile should be slightly larger than the size you want, as the clay will shrink with use. You can then mark a pattern on the tile until it is the style that you want it. You should lay your tile flat, and place it into the kiln. You need to fire it until it is bone dry, or hard and firm to the touch. Avoid placing the tile on a wooden board to dry, as this can make it warp, instead, lay them on plastic for around 24 hours before use.