Holy Coasters

Ok, it’s been a few weeks at least since I embarked on something somewhat crazy, so last week seemed like a good time to say “hey – I have this really great idea…”. Usually when I say things like that, it ends up badly for me…in a good, crazy way. So, the dragon boat season has ended for my team, and we’re having a wrap up party in a couple of weeks. Which in pottery time, is really not enough time to have an idea like this, but, that’s pretty much insignificant at this point! I decided to make customized coasters with our dragon boat logo on them. Crazy? Only when I found out I’d need to make about 40.

So, I started with the design, photocopied to the right size, and cut out three stencils in mylar. Each stencil took about an hour to cut out.

Then I went to the studio, and on the slab roller, rolled out 5/8″ slabs of clay. I cut tile forms out of foam board, then used a pizza roller to cut out 40 tiles squares.

Once the tiles were cut out, I layered them four to a board on newspaper to dry.

I basically rub the mylar stencil into each stencil with water so that it’s totally water tight, then paint black slip over the stencil. The slip often leaks through, so there’s a lot of cleanup on each tile once the stencil comes off.

Once the slip dries on the mylar stencil, I let it dry, and then every tile has to be cleaned up of excess slip so that the design is clean. This basically entails scraping off the slip and making giant piles of dusty clay/slip on my dining room table, making a giant mess and enraging my housekeeper and husband.

Once the design is cleaned up, I paint an orange underglaze on the star. That’s pretty much it for now – the tiles have to be stacked and adjusted every day so that they dry slowly and not warp.

Ten down, thirty to go. I hope no-one wants to order these to re-do their bathroom.

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