Been a while since I posted about this....it's a faily slow process really, as it is a matter of juggling days that the school were available, lots of patience waiting for clay to dry, and then kilns to fire and cool down again. This amount of tiles took several firings!
A few weeks ago, the year 10s at KHCTSC made the 48 tiles that are going to make up the final artwork, this isnt'an exact one, but a sample we did first to test the technique, the clay and the kiln itself.
We used a heavily grogged terracotta clay from Valentines Clays in Stoke (where else?) - this clay, as well as being strong, has loads of texture to add interest, and is forgiving to work with! We sliced into approximately one inch thick slabs that were then 'stamped' with the plaster blocks the students had made at a previous section. Each tile is a different shape, each one hand made, and each one stamped with a different selection of plaster blocks. As all the students made one or two each, there's lots of lovely variety - some students chose to stamp with one design on a tile, some with only part sections and different designs, and another was multiple stamped with the same design. I loved the diversity and it felt like the students really 'got' my idea about being free and random with it - it can be quite difficult to convey the process as its quite lengthy - it isn't possible to demonstrate this from start to finish, only in stages, so I've had to ask the students and staff at the school to have a little bit of blind faith that it will all come good!
The other part I have to do is some digital art work - around 150 students submitted designs at the start of the project of which we selected 20 to convert into the plaster 'stamps'. But we are actually using everybody's art in the final piece and this involves me scanning in all the 10cm designs.... one by one! And I will be compiling them into one big montage for the back drop of the whole work.
Watch this space!