Sophia Othman Mosaics

Mosaic Art & Concrete Sculpture

Archive for ‘February, 2021’

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Art Studio’s Chief Morale Officer – Jasmine the puppy doing a superb “Down” on a kiln shelf

How do you prevent your ceramic wires from sticking to your kiln shelves? you use kiln wash – here’s how to make it yourself

Today I’m repairing, reshaping (with a tile wet saw), and reapplying kiln wash to my ceramic kiln shelves. Pleasant outdoor work on a bright winter day in service to my mosaic art studio. A lot of ongoing maintenance to keep my tools happy and show them love.

Basic Salt Kiln Wash Recipe
50% Alumina
50% Kaolin

To prepare your own kiln wash Measure out a ratio of 1 to 1 of each ingredient and add water. Mix the kiln wash dry mixture with water thoroughly to the consistency of whole milk. To prepare your kiln shelf sand or grind your shelf as needed to remove flaky prior kiln wash and wipe with a moist sponge to remove any loose flakes and dust. Then use a brush to apply a thin layer or two of kiln wash either in bare spots or covering the whole shelf.

These ingredients are very very cheap compared to buying premade Kiln wash and you can get them from any Ceramic supply store. My favorites in the bay area are Clay People in Richmond and Clay Planet in Sunnyvale. If you don’t want to do your own measuring you can buy dry pre-mixed kiln wash powder which is also much cheaper than buying prepared wet containers of kiln wash from the suppliers.

architectural mosaics garden art how to make mosaics mosaic art Nature Mosaics  Puppy & DIY Kiln Wash img_4863-700x700
Raw Materials to make your own kiln wash

Even if you’re not interested in being frugal there’s a deeply enjoyable aspect to Diy in the art studio and it’s fun to know how to go from raw dry mineral ingredients to a product that matches a commercial kiln wash.

I laid down this kiln shelf separately so I would remember to add kiln wash to it. My puppy, Jasmine, is now eight months old. She can’t wait to grow up like all children saying that they their age is “5 1/2 “ years old – they are eager eager to go forward into life. Here if she is sitting on my kiln shelf saying to me, “ Mom I’m only half baked! “

architectural mosaics garden art how to make mosaics mosaic art Nature Mosaics  Puppy & DIY Kiln Wash img_4821-700x700
Handmade ceramic tiles On shelf protected by Kiln wash which is appearing as a bright white powdery surface on which the tile sit these tiles are forfor an art Mosaic bench with the most recent offerings from the Kiln

More DIY Kiln Wash :

If you want to get Uber geeky about kiln wash, here is a superb article in Ceramic Arts Monthly by John Britt that dives deeply into the topic and offers many recipe variations for specific applications.

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Glazing handmade ceramic tiles to fire in the kiln

Today I am I’m in the blissful creative zone where time flies and every tiny task in my art studio (even tidying up and cleaning the tables) is a pleasure. Specifically, today I’m glazing tiles to get them ready to glaze fire.

After The handmade tiles are fired in the kiln the true colors show through.

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Just finished glaze firing the flower tiles
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Yellow orange cone flowers and red handmade ceramic tiles destined to be part of a mosaic garden art bench

I have several projects that are billable and getting them done allows me to finish a commission and receive payment for it. Then I have many creative projects of my own that are incubating and are at various stages of doneness. Ranging from still being idea psychic babies and are merely thoughts in my head and some are at the stage of being on paper somewhere. Some at the stage of having the design drawn out enough that I can start creating it and some are at various stages of being done in terms of having an armature for a sculpture ready or having the tiles bisqued but not glazed for a mosaic mural, etc.

This is a mosaic garden art bench that I’ve been working on for a couple of years in my spare time. The bisque-fired handmaid tiles have been sitting in a box asking for attention – today I gave them some and they reward me with creative pleasure. I think the tiles at this stage look like cookies that are being frosted. The ceramic glaze and underglazes will start off being intensely colored when wet and then as they dry out they get powdery and pastel. So by the time they dry out they look like frosted cookies.

architectural mosaics art bench garden art garden mosaic how to make mosaics Nature Mosaics San Francisco Bay Area Mosaics  Frosting Cookies ? or Glazing Handmade Tile for Mosaic img_4687-700x700
Orange ceramic glaze in squeeze bottle Makes it easy to draw fine lines are using Ceramic at glaze