How to Make an Abstract Ceramic Trivet

Blend colorful glazes to decorate ceramic tile.

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Materials and Tools:

cone 06 clay
ceramic glazes in a variety of colors
plywood
molding trim
scrap shims
2 drawer handles with appropriate screws
strong adhesive
wood stain
rolling pin
foam brushes
container of water
eyedropper
kiln
screwdriver
power drill
chop saw
table saw
clay-cutting wire
needle tool
12-by-12-inch template
safety glasses
finishing nails
hammer
sandpaper
latex or rubber gloves
dry cloth

Steps:

1. Cut a slice from a block of clay with a clay-cutting wire.

2. Roll out the clay to a ¼-inch thickness with a rolling pin. Place a 12-by-12-inch template on the clay and run a needle tool through the clay around the template. Remove the excess tile, leaving a 12-by-12-inch tile. Smooth the edges of the tile.

3. Place the tile on a piece of wood and cover it with some weight while drying. Let the tile harden for three days. Note: Smaller ceramic tiles can be used as weights.

4. Remove the weight from the tile. Place the tile in a kiln and bisque-fire for 12 hours. Remove from the kiln when cool.

5. Wet the tile by brushing water onto the surface with a foam brush. Apply color glazes to the surface of the tile by loading an eyedropper with one glaze at a time and releasing it onto the tile. The water will disperse the glaze and blend the colors. Let the tile sit for 10 minutes.

6. Place the tile in the kiln and glaze-fire for nine hours. Remove the tile from the kiln when cool.

7. Using a table saw, cut a piece of plywood for the bottom of the trivet to the same size as the tile.

8. Saw four pieces of molding trim for the sides of the trivet.

9. Sand the wood trivet to smooth rough spots.

10. Nail the sides to the plywood bottom, extending the sides over the edge to create a ledge or box for holding the tile.

11. Wearing latex or rubber gloves, stain the trivet box with wood stain. Remove the excess stain with a dry cloth. Let dry.

12. Drill holes for handles in the sides through the molding trim on opposite sides of the trivet.

13. Attach the two handles to the sides.

14. Place shims in the corners of the box so the tile will fit flush with the top edges of the sides. Glue the shims to the box. Let dry.

15. Glue the ceramic tile to the shims. Let dry for 24 hours.

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