Today I was able to revisit the backsplash project that we shared about in a previous blog. Since that time, I’ve glazed and fired the two test tiles that I made to test out the technique that I thought was best suited to this project (Quenca, or raised clay line process) where glaze is squeezed from a hand-bulb out into the lines on the tile using different sizes of thin applicator tips. Of the two images above, the top one shows the glazed and fired test tile and the lower image shows the original watercolor sketch. When you compare the two, it’s clear that the glazed tile is in need of lighter blues and white highlights in area of the river/sky. The sun also needs additional glaze to darken some areas and lighten others. So often, it’s necessary to do multiple glaze firings in order to achieve the look that’s desired. It takes a lot of time and patience, but the result is usually worth the extra effort!
The test tiles above (already glazed and fired) show the addition of raw glaze in several different colors, but a fairly generous amount of light blue and white were added to the river/sky areas as well as the sun. In order to add more glaze to already glazed surfaces, it helps a lot to heat the surface of the tile a bit. I use a heat gun, or sometimes just a hair-dryer to heat up the tiles a bit so that the glaze will more easily stick (it sticks when it drys a little). These tiles will be fired to around 2200 F to develop the glaze which will melt a bit and soften the line-work making it a bit softer and more blended.