Big Ceramic Store Blog

Handmade Tile Wall Pieces - Part 1

Hello there! Today's post is going to be a bit different, it is Part 1 of a series on tile making and installing. After reading a few good books, "Making & Installing Handmade Tiles" by Angelica Pozo, and "Wall Pieces, by Dominique Bivar Segurado, I thought it was time to expand my horizons.

Join me on a tile making journey! We'll start with the very basics and, with a little skill, and a lot of luck, we will make an Amazing wall piece!

By the way... I encourage all of our readers to offer suggestions during this series, as it will be my first attempt at tile making! Okay, maybe not my very first tile... I've made single tiles as trivets and such, but making a wall piece... nope, not until now.

We won't be heading to the studio today, just grab a cup of coffee and notebook, and let's get started!

In this post, we're not going to go crazy over making "exact" sizes, so we won't worry about clay shrinkage rates at this point. If you choose to get deep into tile making though, I suggest you learn more about that.

Let's start with a pretty basic list of materials needed for the project.

Clay and tools for making the tile

  • Primary Clay - Higher grog clays like, Laguna WC-392, work well for tile
  • Rolling pin and 1/2" wood slats, or a slab roller
  • 2-mil and 4-mil plastic sheets
  • Cutting, carving and slicing tools
  • Newspaper
  • Graphite paper and/or tracing paper
  • Drywall ware boards
  • 1/4" Plywood for templates
  • Drawing and design tools, Rulers - small and large
  • Sponges and water

Items needed for decoration

  • Paint brushes
  • Underglaze/Mason Stains/Oxides
  • Squeeze bottles (for slip trailing)
  • Slip (make your own, or purchase one that is compatible with your clay)
  • Shaping and Texture tools
    • rubber tipped shapers
    • stamps (make your own if you dare)
    • wooden modeling tools
    • carved dowel rods
    • nuts/bolts/screws
    • textured fabric
    • The Steve Tool
    • and anything else you can think of to create texture!

Glazing Supplies

  • Commercial or Homemade Glazes
  • Soft brushes (flat, pointed, round, large, small)
  • Sponges
  • Squeeze bottles and bulbs (from tiny tips to ketchup bottles!)for glaze trailing
  • Sponge stamps
  • Buckets with lids for glaze storage
  • Glazing tongs

Now that we have the supplies pretty much covered, it's time to think about a design. How many tiles do you want in you piece? Will you make a design where all the tiles are a piece of the picture, or will each tile paint it's own picture? Feel free to follow along and replicate my design.

What is my design you ask? That, my friends, is a surprise! However; if you've followed our blog at all, you may already know that I'm a bit of a nature buff... maybe, just maybe, it might have some flowers or birds in it!

Next week, we'll start the tile making process. Go over the list we've made today, gather up your supplies, and get ready for the journey!

E-mail us at with ideas and suggestions.



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