Friday, October 24, 2008

Making a backsplash, part two

When I opened the kiln, this was my first glimpse of the tiles.

It's rather amazing that when those were loaded onto a shelf, they were nearly touching. The space around them came as they shrunk to their final size.

Since the wall where these tiles will be placed is heavily textured and painted, I decided to use a piece of cement board, or Hardiebacker board, to adhere to the wall, thus evening out the surface for installation.

And although the dudes at my local told me I could score the cement board with a utility knife and snap it, I know better. Accomplishing that is more difficult than it sounds, I've always gotten a jagged edge. So I switched blades in my tablesaw to an old one, one that I never use anymore, and prepared to cut the board by drawing out the profile needed.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I made a pattern first out of paper. So I simply traced the paper onto the cement board, and then started cutting.

This makes a god-awful amount of dust. In fact, there are warning labels on the board, letting you know how bad this dust (silica) is for you. So I took a few precautions:
slapped on my respirator, aimed my biggest fan so that it would blow the dust outside, turned on my air cleaner, and hooked a vacuum up to my tablesaw dust port.

Can't be too careful!

And after much coaxing and complaining (from my sawblade), here's the piece of cement board cut to size.

Next step - playing with the tile to decide it's proper layout. Since I'm a bit of a klutz, I started by placing the board on one of my shop carts.

I'm a huge fan of carts in my studio, they take a load off of my back, and allow me to move things easily around the room. This is my largest cart, perfect for holding this board as I play with the design.

I started by laying out a few tiles into rows; This was my original design.

After I finished, I rolled the cart outside to get a better view of these tiles in the sunshine.

My friend Adrienne, stopped by to see the tiles, so we ended up drinking a beer and figuring out solutions to the world's problems. We always have deep conversations when she stops by! So by the time she left, I couldn't decide which layout I wanted to use - the brick layout above, or a modular layout. I decided to sleep on it, and play with it in the morning.

1 comment:

Rodney said...

!! That second-last shot got my eyebrows up in a hurry. The mix of blues and rusts is fantastic.