Now that the jig is dried, it’s time to start making the tiles.
Alot of the online tutorials called for the same steps – rolling the air dry clay to a certain thickness, then cutting out the tiles based on the desired styles. For this though, I wanted to try this particular set of tool(s) out:
I found this square cutter from Plastics in Print, an Etsy vendor. The cutter’s made of plastic, which means it has to be hand-washed after use. The store sells a 1/4″ and a 1-inch square cutter, but they do take custom orders. In my case, I opted to get a 1-inch square and requested to have a 3/4″ square — figured those would be the most common sized tiles I’d make from hereon. Much to my surprise, the vendor not only made my custom piece, but shipped it fast.
Now that I have everything, I started making the tiles. Luckily, today was a bit of a mixed bag weatherwise in my area — perfect excuse to just stay in and work. 🙂
Using about 1/4 of the DAS clay, I mushed the clay for a bit to get it a bit pliable. Then, after putting some wax paper over my jig, I used my acrylic roller and started smoothing it down. Since it needed to be about 1/8 thick (and my clay wasn’t gonna spread to the entire width of the jig), I cut another piece of 1/8″ thick basswood to act as guide. Then kept folding/rolling until it was as level as I could manage.
Then, I took my 1-inch square and started pressing it down on the clay. Though when I pulled the cutter out…the square actually stayed inside of it (d’oh!). Turned out smearing a little bit of petroleum jelly on the cutter solved that issue.
I needed to put the tiles someplace where they can air dry on an even surface. So I took one of my baking sheets and lined it with foil and wax paper. And placed each tile there. As for how many I needed….I measured the main room and found it was about 9 x 13 inches. And each tile is an inch square…about 117 tiles give or take. Plus, since these tiles will shrink as they dry (a lot of tutorials cautioned about allowing the DAS clay to dry for at least 24 hours), so that will give me some wiggle room to adjust them as needed.
Just kept repeating this process (and getting more clay from the package) until I got the number I needed. Didn’t take a photo of it, but made thicker tiles using the 3/4″ square cutter. Not sure where I’ll use these, but…will see as we go along.
So far so good. Floors are prepped…hopefully I can start working on either the walls. Or take a stab at the electrical. Will see.