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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Other Crafts » » VanTiki Tiles - Ku Squared tile taking shape - 1/25
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VanTiki Tiles - Ku Squared tile taking shape - 1/25
VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1022
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2013-05-21 2:01 pm   Permalink

Well, poop. This morning's kiln opening was, to put it mildly, a let down.
The satin clearcoat that had worked wonders on an earlier test reacted badly with several of the underglazes, and ended up looking horrible on all 12 tiles. 6 of them are completely ruined, and the 6 passable tiles also suffered from cracks and warping. Arrrgh! Ceramics, you are a cold, cold teacher.

Here are the 6 that are nice to look at (from a distance)


woah! That is too close. Take a step back


ok - much better!

Seriously, though, the clay and firing schedule I've dialed in for my 4" tiles isn't working out for the 8" versions. I'm going to test out a few possible fixes this afternoon on a couple more tests - but things are looking bleak for this planned edition. I really love the sculpts, so I'll do my best to get it produced in some form or another.

After I press a few more tests tonight, I'm going to switch over to pressing some of my existing tiles for Tiki Oasis, along with pendants. There will be a new pendant (or two) for Oasis, along with some new mugs. I'm going to shelf this big moai for a spell and do some re-enginering (perhaps when Oasis is done)

Mahalo for looking!
Henrik "VanTiki"


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zerostreet
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Feb 06, 2010
Posts: 1957
From: http://www.zerostreet.com
Posted: 2013-05-21 3:08 pm   Permalink

Not gonna argue with you on this Henrik. You're the artist and you're seeing them in person and know what there and not there....But have to say that they look very nice to me. Especially 1,3,5 and 6!
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7319
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2013-05-21 3:18 pm   Permalink

Best wishes with the firing Henrik. I have a Duncan clear satin that I am not happy with ~ it always fires milky anywhere it's the slightest bit heavy.
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VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1022
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2013-05-21 4:37 pm   Permalink

Zerostreet those are my favorites too! Unfortunately, satin glaze aside, they are a bit warped and cracked. My top two are #1 and #5 (3 & 6 tie for third)

Mad Dog - you hit the nail on the head. The clear looked great on a few small test pendants - but spread out over the larger surface area of the tile it ranged from plastic to milky in appearance, and I was left sad that I sprayed them in the first place. THese are stone Moai, and I should have left the raw clay surface!

Tonight I'm pressing a few more - 2 that I am going to scoop clay out from the back to get a bit more even thickness. I'm also going to change the way I de-mold them to avoid any bumps and bends that will cause warping later in the kiln. Finally, will try cone 5 instead of 6 to see if that helps with the cracking/warping too.

Also going to press a couple and trim away all but the big stone head - for 2 MEGA pendants! Woot!

I was really bummed this morning - but I'm feeling better now. Ms. VanTiki and I held the warped tiles up against the wall by our backyard deck and they look nice - so it isn't a total loss!

Henrik "VanTiki"
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Hale Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2013-05-22 11:20 am   Permalink

Heck yeah, man. They look great from here. Put them in your yard, randomly. You won't be able to tell they're warped!

 
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TikiAno
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2012
Posts: 825
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2013-05-22 8:22 pm   Permalink

Looking great- I have to say, after looking at these multiple times (here and on FB), I've been focused on the face, but the hands are now blowing me away. I really look forward to you perfecting this tile, because I really, really (really) want one. As I said on FB, I'm more than willing to take any reject bisqued pieces off your hands...

Since I usually don't work w/ underglazes (or clear coats), very helpful to read about your experience with them. Look forward to seeing you again in SD in August.

David/ Tiki Ano


 
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mp
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 12, 2009
Posts: 450
From: Nor Cal
Posted: 2013-05-22 11:12 pm   Permalink

Looking good Van! Looking foward to seeing you at oasis. I know you
will have box of surprise goodies that will blow us all away. Again
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VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1022
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2013-05-23 1:18 pm   Permalink

HaleTiki, the tiles look awesome randomly spaced along the wall in the garden. Once I get them premaritally attached I'll post some pics. There is a nice bed of ferns that will keep folks from getting too close and seeing the crazy cracks and warping

Tiki Ano - Mahalo! The hands are my favorite part of these guys. I wanted to make the Cracked Moai looking like they are calmly waiting for.... something. VanTiki Senior thinks it looks like they are giving two thumbs up. I am open to any interpretation

MP - I will do my best to bring goodies to Oasis! I'm already hard at work on some projects that have been on the back burner for far too long.

I'm also progressing on getting some of the Moai to work. I pressed two more, and hollowed them out before carefully demolding them (this time with a wooden backing board to avoid any bumps that may cause warping. So far, so good. They are drying nicely - and much quicker than the solid versions:



And what is that to the left of the tile? Well, the ever-so-clever Ms. VanTiki suggested pressing a few of the Cracked Moai heads as MEGA PENDANTS. Once the words were spoken, there was no turning back. I pressed and hollowed out 2 test heads, and they are swank. and big.



I'm gonna braid some beefy cords for them - possibly with some of my porcelain killer whale teeth. I have a OK book on braiding - but is there any book out there that you folks recommend for polynesian/nautical necklace braiding techniques?

I''m getting into FULL PRODUCTION mode for Oasis. Starting a new mug tonight, and pressing tiles & pendants this weekend. So excited!

Mahalo for looking -
Henrik "VanTiki"


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[ This Message was edited by: VanTiki 2013-05-23 13:20 ]


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VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1022
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2013-05-27 12:11 pm   Permalink

This weekend was an epic marathon of tile and pendant pressing!

To begin the press-a-thon, I first had to take care of poor little Marzipan


Unfortunately to get the tiles and pendants out of the mold after pressing, I need to slam them down on my worktable. Marzipan hates this noise, and she spent the weekend curled up in the bathroom corner. Feeling terrible guilty about freaking her out, she gets an extra long beach walk in the morning


Now it is time for clay! Before pressing tiles & pendants, the 25lb bags of clay need to be prepped. For tiles, I drop the bags on the ground till they have elongated from an extruded 6" square into a 4.75" square. I then cut the stretched out block into a bunch of "tile chip" blanks and stack them up for pressing


For pendants, I quarter the 25lb bag, then roll out the sections into long 2" diameter coils. The coils are sliced into little round pendant blanks


Then the pressing begins!
Saturday was a tile day. I have some wire shelves from a closet storage system that I stack up to store the tiles & pendants as they dry. When I fill a shelf, I add some spacers then stack another shelf on top. Helps to save space and allows air to circulate around the tiles (to avoid warping)


Sometimes I have a bit of downtime waiting for the molds to draw enough moisture out of the tiles for me to pop them out. I decided to fill this time by modifying some of the pressed tiles. I made some old stone idols, and then made some REALLY old cracked stone skulls (bad shot - these look much more spiffy in person)


Sunday was pendant day. I had made 2 new molds of the Octo-Moai, so I was able to press twice as many of these little guys


I also did the round pendants


And in-between pressings I modified some of the skulls into ancient stone repositories of powerful spirits


Here is the top shelf of the drying stack on Sunday afternoon. 5 racks in total! I need to pick up another 100lbs of clay for next weekend. Marzipan gets 5 days off till the tile slamming resumes


Mahalo for looking!
Henrik "VanTiki"


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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2013-05-27 12:22 pm   Permalink

Those are great! And in that picture you look like Walter White, which is even cooler. I am simply in awe of all the creativity that abounds in these forums. You're all urging me to give a try doing something—don't know what yet.

 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5737
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2013-05-27 12:52 pm   Permalink

Really loving the octopi....your tiles area killer.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7319
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2013-05-27 3:11 pm   Permalink

Happy Clay Slamming Day Van, those look grand!

 
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TikiAno
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 07, 2012
Posts: 825
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2013-05-30 10:43 am   Permalink

Henrik, all look great. Excited to add to my collection from VanTiki Island. And since you hinted at this on FB, are Swizzle Sticks returning? (Exciting stuff).

 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6883
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2013-05-30 10:45 am   Permalink

Can you use the press molds for making cookies?

 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6883
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2013-05-30 10:45 am   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: GROG 2013-05-30 10:45 ]


 
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