About the Process

Ceramic, porcelain, and marble tiles are painted using many methods or techniques. I use several methods of painting, which are; over glazes, underglazes, and china painting. Mostly, I use commercially made tiles, glazed or unglazed (bisque).

China painting:

China painting is an art form that originated in China-1480ce and is still popular today. It is a form of decorating ceramic and porcelain that involves applying multiple layers of special glazes to an already glazed piece to form a visual design.  After each layer is painted, the piece is fired in the kiln to temperatures of 1100 ° – 1400 ° F. The result of having multiple layers of paint and firing creates a rich and colorful, permanent decoration of the piece.

Under glazes:

Under glaze paints are used on non-glazed tiles (bisque) as one normally would paint with watercolors. As the picture takes shape and the painting is completed; it has to dry before applying the clear over glaze to cover the tile. After the drying period, the tile is placed into the kiln until a temperature 1800-2000 degrees (F) is reached. After cooling, the kiln is opened and the tiles are removed.

Over glaze:

The techniques, which is used in painting with glazes on tiles is called “cuerda seca”; translated from Spanish, it means “dry line”. Mixtures of wax-resist plus oils are used to underline the wet glazes, which are applied on the tiles to separate the glazes while they are being fired (t° 1500-2000F). Moorish techniques were further developed by the Spanish, dating back to 8th century Spain, played a major role in the influence of decorative tiles around the world.


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