Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making some more clay tiles.

Im still always on the lookout for common objects that can be used to make cool patterns on my tiles.

This old water valve handle was a throw away item now reborn as a clay tile stamp.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Compressed earth bricks, back to the drawing board.

Its been almost a year since I constructed the chimney of the aluminum furnace out of CEBs. Indiana has a harsh winter season with more than a few freeze/thaw cycles. This is the result of exposure to that bitter winter moisture!

Spalling of many of the faces of the bricks due to freezing after moisture intrusion.

Notice how the mortar has held up better than the clay body of the bricks.

My initial hypothesis is that I skimped too much on the cement content of the clay mix for the bricks. The higher level of cement would likely add to the moisture resistance of the bricks by lowering their water absobtion rate. That is critical in outdoor enviroments where water and freezing are combined threats.
Not sure what I will do about this yet. I do know that any unfired CEBs that I make in the future will have a higher cement quantity in the clay mix. Or I may skip the cement and just fire my CEBs in a clamp kiln to vitrify them and gain the waterproofing needed for my Indiana climate.
The aluminum furnace chimney may be torn down and rebuilt, not sure yet about that either.

Playing around with low fire glaze.

I bought some used glazes off of Ebay awhile back and have been trying them out to see how they effect my clays. Some glazes turn out very clear, while others add some interesting colors to the result. All of them are in the low fire range at cone 04 to 05 by the instructions on the bottles.

This platter has a nice glossy wet look.

This rough bowl ended up blue with some reds in spots. I am gonna play some more with this one.

This is a combo glaze job on the candlestick holder. Blue down the flutes and throat with a bit of red on the raised parts.

This one has some redish spots on it that the photo dosn't give justice too.

Dont know why the picture flipped like this. The little square bottle is something new im trying.