I am very excited today because one of my sisters (I have actually four) was willing to explain to me and my blogging friends (with pictures and all) how she makes ceramic tiles. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I am from Holland and besides really good cheese and chocolate, we also have beautiful Delft Blue tiles. Well, I guess my sister was always inspired by that, and she taught herself tile making. Her name is Hanneke and this is her tutorial:
“Making tiles is one of my favorite hobbies and in this tutorial I will show you how easy it is to make these tiles yourself. There are actually many ways of tile-making, but this is how I do it:
I use the Amoco 15-8 casting slip which can be ordered from Dick Blick Art Materials (www.dickblick.com) and Boothe 4×4 tile molds #1789, I order my molds from Macky (www.mackymolds.com). The Boothe company (www.boothe.com) has an excellent website with lots of information and tips. I recommend you check this out! BTW I do not get paid by any of these companies, I just order products from them. Pouring the casting slip can be messy and when the container is full I found it easier to use a measuring cup with a spout. Make sure the slip is well mixed, it tends to settle over time. A paint stirrer from any paint co. will do the trick.
Make sure you secure the mold with a couple of rubber bands. I have mopped up slip from my work table many times, so I speak from experience if I tell you it is messy!
Fill the mold till the very top, adding more slip as needed. At this time you just have to have patience and let it sit for about 20 minutes (sometimes longer depending on the humidity) until the sides pull away slightly. The slip has hardened somewhat and is not liquid anymore.
After about 20 – 30 minutes tilt the mold on its side and remove the rubber bands. ONLY when the top comes off easily open it up. When the top is still “stuck” leave it on for another 30 minutes or so.
Very carefully take the tile out of the mold. I usually grab it by the collar. At this point I also clean the mold with a paper towel or damp clean soft towel. Do not rinse the mold under the faucet! Put the rubber bands back on and let the mold dry for several days. When I first started I made the mistake of using the molds too soon and they developed pinholes – ruining them.
Cut off the collar close to the top of the tile and let dry on a flat surface for about 2 hours. Gently push the corners to the surface if needed to make sure the tile stays flat. After several hours I place the tiles on a wire rack so that it can dry all around, it prevents warping.
I let the tile dry overnight, sometimes longer. To clean the edges use sandpaper or 3M potscrubbers. Tiles will never be completely square, believe me I tried!
Congratulations, you made your own tile and we are ready now to paint.”