Tile Model Making

Step 1Mix unmodified thinset mortar in a bucket to the consistency recommended by the manufacturer.Step 2Spreading the Mortar.Starting at the reference line cross in the middle of the room, spread the mortar with the thin side of the trowel in areas about 3 feet by 3 feet. Make sure that the reference lines are not obscured.Step 3Combing the Mortar.Apply the mortar using the notched side of the trowel held at a 45 degree angle. Comb the mortar in one straight direction to ensure uniform application.Step 4Remove excess mortar with the trowel and return it to the bucket.Good to KnowSome ceramic tiles have spacers built into the tile itself.

Recently, I decided to replace the aesthetically challenged house numbers on my abode with something that better fit the character of my 1930s house. I decided that I wanted to make individual tiles for each number. This got me thinking about the best techniques for making flat, uniform tiles.I found this simple, tried-and-tested technique in an old issue of Pottery Making Illustrated and thought I would share it with you. It comes to us from ceramist Laura Reutter of Port Townsend, Washington, who has been making tiles for her business Ravenstone Tiles since 1998. – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty editor.Keeping tiles flat while drying and firing has often been a source of frustration for clay artists. Over the years, I’ve read a great deal about sandwiching wet tiles between drywall, flipping them, stacking them, turning them, covering them or weighting them.Why spend countless hours fussing over tiles? I’ve developed a technique that greatly minimizes the amount of handling needed and is almost foolproof for making flat tiles.