Friday, January 16, 2009

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Testing of the slip trailing method has now commenced.

After first rolling out and drying out some clay (5 lbs to be exact), then rehydrating it with water gram by gram, then mixing it with some washing soda, then trying again, and again, and again, to get a nice slip, I realized I had no clue what a nice slip is supposed to look like. So being the good little students that we are, we (Chester too!) have been doing research on the correct proportions of water to clay to deflocculant. And have come up with a bunch of conflicting results. Everyone has their own method and preferred kind of slip per application. The expert in my life (Chester) has informed me that maybe we should play it by ear and see what happens. So that is what is going on.

Currently, I have a slab cut into 4" tiles with various kinds of slip mixures and slip trailing designs all starting to dry. The test will be to see if the tiles warp, the slip lines fall off, etc. etc. etc....

It is actually a pretty fun way to create a design on a tile. Once you get a slip that is working, that is. The trick is to get a slip that does not flatten out when you apply it, so your lines stay crisp. I am using a pretty watered down slip from what I started with. Because I am using a applicator that has a really small opening (as to make very narrow lines), I need something that will squeeze through the hole. If I use a bigger applicator, I might go for a thicker slip, but playing it by ear is working out better then using the triple balance beam.

Although I really like measuring things to be able to get the same results, sometimes it does not work that way. Cara "Flexibility" O'Brien, you know......

1 comment:

Brian and Becky said...

You sound like a scientist!