Tiles For Margot Restaurant, Covent Garden - Behind The Scenes / by Imogen Mitchell

These tiles are coming along nicely, so we wanted to show you some of the many processes involved in making them. As you can see, each dome is individually made by hand and we have a total of 2463 to make, so it's by no means a small job! 

 

Shaping The Tiles

First of all, several moulds were made using plaster of Paris. This was done by making wooden frames with the tile shape inside, which the liquid plaster was poured into. An imprint of the tile shape was left inside the dried plaster, which then made it possible to make further tiles.

The clay was then pressed into the moulds and left to dry out.

 Clay going through the drying process inside moulds. 

Clay going through the drying process inside moulds. 

Once the tiles are dried enough, they go into the kiln for their first firing. Basically, they bake in there at a massive 1000 degrees centigrade for approximately 12 hours, before cooling down for roughly another 12 hours.  

 Tiles at the end of their first (bisque) firing.

Tiles at the end of their first (bisque) firing.

Glazing

After the first firing, the tiles are ready to be glazed. As is the case with all of our tiles without exception, the glazes are hand-mixed from raw materials and for some of these tiles, two under-glazes are applied by dipping before the glaze is applied over the top (also by dipping). It's a lot of very careful work and takes considerable time to achieve the desired effect.

 Tiles being hand-dipped into under-glaze.

Tiles being hand-dipped into under-glaze.

Once the tiles have been glazed, they go back into the kiln for the glaze firing, which sees them baked to an even more massive 1240 degrees centigrade. It really does get warm here in the studio!

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We're mixing things up a little with this particular project to add an extra layer of creativity and some of the domes are fired just once. Single-firing gives a slightly different finish to the tile and adds to the spectrum of beautiful and unique variations in tone.

 

Finally... 

The finished tiles are all individually wrapped (a painstaking job in itself), then carefully packed, before being dispatched to the restaurant site.

 Bisque fired tiles shown here before being hand-glazed. 

Bisque fired tiles shown here before being hand-glazed. 

For more info on this project, please see: 

http://www.guymitchelldesign.com/blog/2016/6/30/tiles-for-margot-restaurant-covent-garden

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to find out more about what we can do for you, please visit www.guymitchelldesign.com, or contact us directly at: info@guymitchelldesign.com 

 Kiln shelves in the sun

Kiln shelves in the sun