A few weeks ago I sold the last few scratching dog tiles I made back in 2013. Unfortunately one of the tiles, a pug, broke in transit. I offered to carve a new one for the man who bought it. It was really fun to make the new pug so I decided to do another series. Once again, I went to the Seattle Humane Society website http://www.seattlehumane.org/adoption/dogs to find most of my models. This is where we first spotted Sam (our beloved dog) and I often look at the photos in hopes of maybe getting Sam a sibling someday. Nobody else thinks this is a good idea.
This time around I decided to explore different shapes, sizes and even clay bodies for the tiles. One alteration I hadn’t actual planned was replacing the black underglaze with black glaze. I accidentally coated the first few tiles with glaze. Then, I spent several hours carving them. When I finally realized the mistake I’d made, I debated whether to even fire the tiles. I assumed the glaze would run into the fine lines and I’d be very sad. But I fired them anyway. As it turns out, the glaze didn’t bleed and the results were actually pretty cool. The spaniel tile above shows the contrast between the shiny black glaze and the carved bare clay. These experimental tiles won’t resist water the way a fully glazed tile would but they’ll look fine on most walls. A rare happy accident in ceramics!