Friday, June 20, 2008

Pastimes and Past Times

We took up tile painting ten years ago ~ the picture shows our first effort, a collaboration with my daughter. There is a line of tile glazes from France that can be fired in an ordinary household oven, as opposed to a kiln. It's a good rainy-day or winter project, when it's too cold or wet to be gardening or on the beach. You can paint a single tile or make a mural. If you go the mural route, the finished tiles are glued to a piece of plywood and then grouted. Our mural has been hanging outside for ten years and has stood up to the weather nicely, but it is sheltered under an eave and we take care not to blast it with the garden hose. If you decide to try tile painting, do follow the glaze instructions closely - starting with clean tiles and sealing the tiles properly will make all the difference. If your store doesn't carry all the colors you'd like, we had success mixing some ourselves to make subtle shades that weren't available. Don't worry about messing up - any tiles you don't like can be broken up and used for mosaics.

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