Test Pieces

December 18, 2008

So we’ve got the general manufacture of tiles down, the storage and transportation issues…  I would do an entry on firing, except I keep forgetting to take photos anytime I run a kiln so we’ll skip that until I can remember to bust out the camera before turning the kiln on…  The next step is sanding, which has been happening at home recently since the studio was closed for a while.  And after that, photocopy transfer!  I think I’ll use this entry just to show a bunch of test pieces–we’ll get into details of the finishing process later when I have some better photos to share.

My workspace at home

My workspace at home

Some tiles on my table at home, ready for sanding

Some tiles, ready for sanding

Sanding the tiles helps generate a more perfect surface for the image transfer

Sanding the tiles helps generate a more perfect surface for the image transfer

A cover page test-printed on an unfired tile

A cover page test-printed on an unfired tile

I loved this disclaimer page--especially in the context of the additional loss of information when I re-print it again

I loved this disclaimer page--especially in the context of the additional loss of information when I re-print it again

A test print of a map indicating Watertown's location--unfired broken tile

A test print of a map indicating Watertown's location

These tests were applied to very rough tiles when they were still bone dry.  They are far too fragile to handle the pressure required for printing at this stage so later versions are printed after the firing.  There is lots of texture from the slab roller canvas (this was before the silk) and they hadn’t been sanded at all.  This meant the transfer ended up being of very low quality–the dark areas are smoother surfaces, the lighter areas that didn’t print very well are rough areas.  Thus the reason for spending so much time finishing and sanding each individual piece.  I later fired the cover page, which turns the transfer to a rust red color as all the black in the toner burns out and only iron is left behind.  I’ll dig up a photo of this (if I have one!) and post it later on…

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