After you’ve checked out our site, we’d love for you to come by and see the daily goins’ ons at our quirky handmade tile studio in the sticks of southern New Hampshire. If goofy dogs, cool tile, and an eclectic group of former interior designers, high end tile sales consultants, and art school dropouts having fun making tile, and often times experimenting with all things awesome is your thing, then our blog will be right up your alley. Even if its not, it’s a fun way to look into the magical world of handmade tile.


Wet Dog's Guide on Making New Friends!

 Hello, everyone!

Friends make the journey of life more meaningful and enjoyable. Good friends are good for your health! Today we'd like to give you a glimpse behind the scenes to show our process of making our "Friends" that are used in our murals and borders!

Believe it or not, each and every Friend we've ever made has started from a chunk of clay! For every Friend we offer there is a handmade plaster mold that we pound pliable clay into and, once the excess clay is cleaned off, the mold gets placed onto our shelves to dry.

The pieces sit in their molds overnight, shrinking slightly in size, making it easier to remove each piece from the mold. As the clay dries moisture evaporates and allows for better handling of the still delicate pieces. We then give a preliminary cleaning before letting them naturally dry (shown above) until being "bone dry", meaning the piece has dried as much as possible before entering the bisque kiln firing.

Friends go through a final cleaning process and are stacked onto kiln shelves and fired to nearly 2,000° F! At this stage, the pieces shed most of the remaining moisture and any impurities in the clay will burn off. With some moisture remaining the pieces are still slightly porous, which improves a glaze's ability to grab hold and adhere. Once the pieces have cooled down we remove them from the kiln and add them to our bisque inventory. Because most of our designs include custom glazed pieces, we keep the majority of our Friends in this bisqued stage until it's time to glaze!

The world of glazes is beautiful, intricate, and sometimes confusing! Our artists glaze each and every Friend by hand and pay very close attention to detail. Some Friends may require only one glaze, while some require many - it all depends on the piece! Once the pieces are glazed they're loaded up into one of our glaze kilns for a second firing. The chemicals that make up our glazes react to heat in very specific ways and transform in a major way! Glaze colors begin dull, opaque, and often neutral, but once hot enough, the glaze changes and can come out glossy, brilliant, and often changing color completely! The same glaze can also look different when applied on various pieces. This is because the texture and detail of each piece will allow the glazes to pool in different ways. It all depends on what results you're trying to achieve!

Once out of the glaze kiln and fully cooled these Friends are now ready to be used in our borders and murals! It's crazy to think that these detailed pieces started their journeys as chunks of clay! We pride ourselves on creating these pieces by hand, in house, and that makes us able to create wonderful custom borders and murals to send to their forever-homes with customers like you!

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