Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

TILE (1) Cutting shapes.

ca: RAJOLA (1) Tall formes.

es: AZULEJO (1) Cortado formas.

Tiles: When odd shapes are needed tiles can be made by hand or industrially and can be cut down altering their size and shape, but if many are needed you must make a mold. There are special cutters, made to cut curved parts; but they are a luxury not many people can afford or need. For cutting straight lines go to these sections and follow the instructions; hand cutter and electric cutter.

The following three sections cover cutting different shapes using an electric tile cutter and this section applies to all three. Tile – Cutting (2) Narrow bars. Tile – Cutting (3) Round pieces. Tile – Cutting (4) Round spaces.

1) Using an electric cutter; as the disk is round, it cuts the part underneath longer than the top one. Make a test with a tile that has the same thickness as what you will be working with, cut a line into it about 4 cm long and you will see that at the front it is perfect but at the back it has overlapped the correct distance, this can be seen in the photos “(c)” and “(d)”.

2) Always work with the main side facing upwards because the disk cuts the bottom part first and damages it more.

3) Start by drawing the lines of the shapes you want on the tile and cut off, bit by bit, the unwanted parts first. Do this because the larger part is the strongest and the pressure of cutting with the machine always breaks the smallest one, which is the piece you want. To avoid this make cuts into the tile about half the distance between the edge and the drawn line, then turn the tile round and cut them off one by one. As you get nearer the drawn line hold the tile slanted against the drill at about 80º and make more cuts, be sure that the underneath part of the disk does not cut too deeply and spoil the main piece.

Continue working in the same way until the parts being removed are so narrow that they can be filed down. Working like this is basically the same for all three shapes.

The next section; TILE (2) Cutting narrow bars