These are the two finished 12″ tiles for the downstairs bathroom backsplash. Whew! At some point, I got to believing that these backsplash tiles would never turn out properly. I’m very glad that they are completed and will be installed in the bathroom tomorrow. I need to make a trip to the hardware store today to get some silicone adhesive to install them.
These backsplash tiles were a difficult project because of the large number of small pieces of glass that weren’t touching. The 9 dichroic glass pieces in each tile trapped quite a lot of air around them, which I wasn’t expecting. In the future, I think that I would design this as 18 smaller tiles, with each dichroic piece being its own separate tile. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about trapping so much air between the pieces. It’s much easier for the air to escape from around a single piece of glass, especially since it has a much shorter path to travel between the layers to the edge of the glass and then out of the piece.
Working smaller would be good for other reasons – trying to line up all of those dichroic glass pieces on the 12″ background layer of glass wasn’t easy. This project required spending a lot of time placing and gluing the pieces down and then waiting for the glue to dry overnight. It also required much longer kiln times because of the much slower ramp speeds and additional annealing time to ensure that the large backsplash tiles wouldn’t break as they cooled.
Still, this project of making backsplash tiles taught me a lot: it helped me to understand devitrification better and contaminants that can lead to devitrification, to understand the effects of lots of space around pieces of glass in the middle layer of a piece, and it taught me the effects of choices in transparency or opacity when working with dichroic glass in a multi-layered piece. I can really appreciate the lessons learned in making these backsplash tiles as well as the triumphs of overcoming the challenges.
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