Tile Trial Course

Tile trial course

There are a few techniques in the tile making process that are unique to tiles. For example, the glazing process is very different from the dipping and ‘hisshaku’ techniques used for tableware and the geometric patterns are more defined than the rough sketches used for painted tableware. Our tile course will take you through basic glazing techniques specific to tiles. You can design your own patterns for the tiles but we also have a wide range of tile templates for you to choose from if you’re lacking inspiration. The tile making process outline below will give you an idea of where our course fits in in the process.


  • Tile forming and bisque firing
    • Formation is the first step in the tile making process. We typically make 15cm x 15cm x 5cm square tiles or hexagon shaped tiles of a similar size. We use the ‘tatara’ technique to make slabs and then cut them to the desired shape and size by using other handbuilding tools. We bisque fire the tiles once they are bone dry. Our tile trial classes don’t cover forming but you can join a trial handbuilding class if you’ld like to learn the process
  • Pattern tracing
    • Persian tiles have long been revered for the beauty in their simple geometric patterns. You can either use our template Persian patterns to trace onto the tile with carbon paper or bring your own patterns
  • Glazing
    • Adjacent glazes usually run and mix during the firing process. The first step in the glazing process is to use iron oxide to trace the pattern – different glaze (color) blocks on tiles need to be separated by iron oxide so the image remains defined. Tile glazing techniques are also a little different from tableware glazing techniques – the area in the color block closest to the iron oxide outline should be thin and become increasingly thicker the further it is from the iron oxide outlineDSCN1433
  • Final firing
    • We place the tiles in the kiln for final firing once the glaze has dried. We fire every Thursday and the firing process takes 1 to 2 days so you can expect your tiles to be ready within one to two weeks depending on the firing schedule (it may take longer if there is a backlog of unfired works). If you need your pieces back urgently, we can arrange an express firingIMG_0646