Friday, 26 April 2013

How to make enamel tiles

I recently spent a day with Anita Brayford learning the art of sgraffito. Sgraffito is a painting technique where the artist scratches into the top layer of the paint to reveal areas of the surface underneath...or in this case the enamel! I've put together a simple step-by-step to show you what we did. It was a fabulous day - never knowing what the finished product would look like until they had been fired and cooled! The results were better than I could ever have hoped for! If you're interested in doing a day's course with Anita, call her on 07791 796831. You can see her work during the SITE Festival at Unit 16, Piccadilly Mill when she will be taking part in the Open Studios event.

1 Tapping powdered enamel onto the backs of the 'tiles'.
2 The reverse side when fired.
3 When cooled the 'tile' is placed in the pickling bath.
4 Removing the 'tile'.
5 Washing in water.
6 Pouring 'slip' onto the front of a 'tile'.
7 Tilting the tile in a circular motion to spread the liquid evenly.
8 Allowing any excess to drain, (it's then left to dry).
9 A practise sketch and my etching on the tile.
10 The tile etched and ready for firing.
11 Another practise sketch.
12 The etching on a tile fired with a base colour.
13 A tile with stencil shapes placed in position.
14 Enamel powder seived over and stencils removed, ready for firing.

At the top you can see the various tiles as they've turned out after being fired and cleaned - very cool!

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