What Is Crazing?
Learn a little something new about our ceramic tiles and how
they are made.
If you're like many of our valued customers, your eye is drawn
to the brilliant colors and creative designs featured in our huge
selection of handpainted ceramic tiles. Designed by artists and
executed by skilled craftspeople, our tiles have few equals in
terms of beauty and quality. We are frequently asked about the
subject of crazing (the appearance of tiny lines in the glaze of a
given tile) and thought it would be helpful to you if we explain
how our tiles are made.
Three Steps To Your Gorgeous Finished Tile
Step 1 - Once an artist's design has been conceived of,
raw clay is shaped and the design (like our charming Corgi dog
featured at right) is hand drafted on the clay. Raised tube lining
is a applied to create a solid design outline and color barriers.
The tile receives its first kiln firing.
Step 2 - Next, the artists hand paint the tile and it
receives a second firing. In the heat of the kiln, small bubbles
often occur in the paint.
Step 3 - The final step involves glazing the tile and
this is what transforms the somewhat dull-looking paint into its
vibrant colors. The tile is soaked in a bath of glaze and then
given its third firing. The art of combining three such different
materials - paint, glaze and clay - in the extreme heat of the kiln
is what often results in slight shrinkage of one or more elements.
This movement is what can cause fine lines to appear in the surface
of the tile: the phenomenon known as crazing. Crazing may
appear at the time of the third firing or may appear months or
years later. This movement in the organic elements of which tiles
are composed is one of the commonest features of ceramic work and
in decorative pieces like our ceramic tiles, it can add visual
texture and a vintage appearance to these art objects.
Crazing is only considered problematic in cooking and serving
pieces - not in decorative items. In short, it's just a part of the
world of ceramics and should never detract from your pleasure in
the design of a handmade tile. As with occasional crazing, you will
find that the handpainted nature of our tiles leads to interesting
nuances in color, as well. Human hands, not factory robots,
skillfully apply the lovely, rich colors to our tiles, making each
one just a little bit different and special!