Hot Off the Worktable: “Tabbies Tiles”

Tabbies Tiles

Tabbies Tiles

I’ve had tiles in mind for a long time. I just like them for decoration, but they are also useful as coasters or a base to display something. I don’t have a kiln at the ready and don’t really want one, so I’ve been experimenting with air-dry clay to substitute. The finish has the feel and texture of kiln-fired clay and I can also build with it. I love texture so though I’ll be painting and stamping on tiles in the future, I’ve had the idea of using my linoleum blocks for the “Tabbies” series to create some texture with the impression along with color.

Single tile

I made a set to test a few weeks ago, then went clay shopping and met with success and failure—one brand of clay crumbled as it dried, another is taking a very long time to dry and won’t be finished for the cat show, but I will have them later. I began with kitty colors; the ones that are drying are magenta and bright blue.

These tiles are made of air-dry clay rolled thin, then pressed onto one of the inked linoleum blocks from my “Tabbies” series so they are a little dimensional and a little colorful, just as I had imagined. They are about 4.75″ square, determined by the designs on the block, three of which have distinct edges that look best when cropped to the edge. I started with black and then also used orange and brown, all kitty colors readily available as ink. Because I impress the clay with the inked block while the clay is wet, and I can’t paint the clay while it’s wet, I can’t really have a colored background unless I find a way around this. I don’t really want to paint in between all the inked areas, but I do have a few ideas for after the cat show when I can take more time.

When dry, I added a protective coat of clear acrylic. I am debating adding felt to the back, which would protect the surface, but if you want to use them in a craft project, like a tray or tiled surface, it would be impossible to peel that off. Hmm, still debating.

Angled to see the finish and texture.

Angled to see the finish and texture.

You’ll see them at the cat show and I’ll list any that did not sell after that—and then maybe the pink and blue ones will be dry! In any case, I’ll definitely be making more. Tiles will be $8.00 each including shipping.

Sleek and solid ebony Mimi wonders what’s all over those poor kitties.

Mimi wonders what's all over them.

Mimi wonders what’s all over them.

Flourish-darkgray-100Don’t miss any new items or opportunities!

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