Porcelain makes one of the most elegant tiles. That`s because its consistency creates marble jewelry-like surface. That's because of porcelain clay -- unlike tiles made from stone, which have more earthy look. Because material is so unique and glazed. it needs more attention when making it till firing it.
Make A Plain Square Tile
When taking first steps, remember the bigger tile will be, the easier you can make it for the first time. So, try to make 5 inch or bigger to create better understanding of what you need to do.
Lay out a clean square as a work surface with covering outside the perimeter. Take 1 1/2 lbs. of porcelain clay, roll it into a ball and place it in the middle of the canvas to make a tile more smooth. Using the hand, pound the clay and place it onto the whole surface. Set one strip of wood on either side of the clay, making sure the distance between the two are no farther apart than the width of the rolling pin.
You dont need to create big pressure, roll back and forth over the porcelaine until the pin makes direct contact with canvas. The clay slab is now 1/2 inch thick.
Remove the wood parts and lay the 90-degree triangle on the surface of the slab, making sure not to dent the surface. Run the knife to clean the remainings out of the tile.
Measure 5 1/4 inches on each side, make a dot every time to divide the tile. After you place all the dots, run the knife from top to bottom connecting dots and using ruler to create more smooth line.
Pick up the knife and align the edge of the blade on top of one of the incised lines on the clay slab. Hold the putty knife straight up and down then slowly press down until the blade meets the surface of the table. Repeat this until you have a perfectly chopped square tile.
Gently pull away the leftover from the square tile. Smooth the edges of the tile with a sponge soaked in water before letting it sit for 24 hours. (cover the tile with plastic of some kind to minimize air getting inside).
Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each additional tile.
Drying Porcelain Tiles
Plastic needs to be lifted to get some air inside. You dont want to warp your tiles so be aware tiles can be damaged even because dried too fast. You need to check them regularly and look for any warping. The drying process must progress at a small rate. Cover the tiles back up with plastic at any time the drying needs to be slowed to maintain the flatness of the tiles.
You need to look for hardening tiles. When it can be picked up by the edges and all the clay stay in it`s shape, you can tell it`s almost ready. You need to clean tile from canvas and remainings with knife.
Remove the tiles from the wallboard when they look dry but not too hard. Set them on any ribbed surface to continue the drying.
Dont load tiles inside the kiln untill they are chalk-white and dry. Lay them inside but place separately so you dont need to crack them when all is done.
Bisque And Glaze Firing Porcelain Tiles
Set the porcelain tiles flat on shelves in the kiln and close the lid. Kiln temperatue must be lower than usual you fire tiles. Then you need to slowly increase it. Bisque firing should take six to eight hours depending on the size of the kiln and how many tiles you plan to make. Keep the same velocity with firing as you had with drying - slowly, not with max value.
Cool the kiln for 16 to 24 hours with tiles as well.
After burning place liquid glazes on top and begin to brush the tile with it.
Cool the kiln for 16 to 24 hours before taking the tiles out of the kiln.
I also suggest to check handmade ceramic mosaic tiles website - New Jersey company Galician stained glass make some awesome stained glass and mosaic masterpieces.