clay painting

joans joans1

These were done by Joan Nogueda. An admirer of the Arts and Crafts style, she started working with clay about 3 years ago for the first time. Her former neighbor and close friend, Ken Dierck, who was a ceramics teacher and master tile maker for 40 years, encouraged her to try making some of her own tiles. He now lives a couple of states away and is no longer able to work with clay, but she talks with him frequently and he loves hearing about what she is doing with glazes. He suggested using a coat of Albany Slip, or what passes for Albany Slip now, over all of her glazes to “marry” the flavors, I mean colors, and if the photos were better, you could really see how rich and interesting the glazes are.

Joan has the enviable ability to remember colors accurately. She can remember how numerous glazes and glaze combinations will look, whereas I have to refer constantly to the glaze tests.

We were both having the problem of large tiles cracking from cooling too fast. Ken told her to score the backs of the tiles, and to roll them out in different directions. Since I do the firings, I worked on ramping down the kiln temperature more slowly and keeping the tiles elevated off the shelves. I haven’t been making tiles lately since I have been mostly doing bowls and heads and plants, but Joan hasn’t had any cracking since we started being very careful to do all these things. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the luck holds. I just started a firing tonight with a beautiful, long, narrow tile of Joan’s in it.

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4 responses to “clay painting

  1. Joan’s tiles are beautiful. I love the painterly effect of these glazes. Rolling the clay in two different directions has helped me. I also flip my clay over and roll it on one side and then the other side in the other direction. What cone are these fired to and what clay body is used? I found my large flat pieces do better on the top shelf or the coolest part of the kiln with plenty of air circulation around them. I also use a very fine layer of pure porcelain sand under my Cone 10 pieces helps (acts as tiny ball bearings to allow the piece to flex during heating and cooling on the kiln shelf).

  2. Hi Linda, These are made with Navajo Wheel clay and fired to cone 5. I think the porcelain sand is a good idea, and one that we all discussed, but decided to fire the tiles on strips of clay instead so the kilns didn’t have to be vacuumed after each firing. I think the biggest problem we were having was the difference between the temperature of the bottom of the piece resting on the shelf and the relatively faster cooling of the air above it, which using the sand would also help. I put firebrick or shelf supports around the tile to hold in the heat. So far, all this has worked well, but I still get nervous about firing other people’s work.

  3. Just passing by. Btw, your website has great content!

  4. These have a wonderful coppery look to them. Really beautiful. Does the word “Painted” in the title refer to painting with slip? At first I thought you meant they were painted after they were fired with paint.

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