Making a tile address plaque begins with the mixing of clay. We buy clay that has been mined, dried, pulverized, screened and shipped to our local clay supplier. These various clays come from various parts of the country, but since we add the water here when we blend and mix our clay the shipping weight and carbon use is diminished by about a third of what it would be to transport wet clay.
To make a tile number we first create a clay slab either by extruding or rolling.
At our studio we have traditionally done most of our glazing on green clay but recently we have begun bisquing the tiles which are decorated with the use of a syringe. For some reason we have been getting a greater percentage of tiles with faults that need to be reglazed a placed back in the kiln when we use green tiles. So we are bisquing most of them now.
This is how we get the glaze on the tiles. This is a veterinary syringe.
Firing the kiln takes about 15 hours. Six or seven of those hours, only the pilot light is on. Slowly raising the heat to about 300°F and holding it there ensures all the clay objects are dry and will not crack from steam escaping the clay.
Here you can see how we put our plaques together. Thin set mortar onto concrete board. After the mortar is dry the piece is grouted . Notice the predrilled holes in the corner tiles for attaching to the wall with screws.
More number styles can be seen at http://www.clayworks.net