White, glazed, ceramic tiles (approximately 4 x 4”)
Colored alcohol inks
Cotton balls & cotton swabs
Small spray bottles & small bowls
Clear gloss sealant
Wipe ceramic tile with paper towel to remove debris. On back of tile, write name using Sharpie marker. Dip cotton ball in small bowl filled with isopropyl alcohol. Wet tile front. Using one alcohol-ink at a time, slowly place small drop(s) of ink on isopropyl-wet tile front. Use cotton swab saturated with isopropyl to drop alcohol-ink on tile front for added design. Students can also blow on dropped ink, or through straws, for additional effects. Keep tile wet by using spray bottles filled with isopropyl. Repeat dropping ink on wet tiles until desired design is achieved. Let dry overnight. Coat with clear, gloss sealant.
Julien Tomasello MFA, MAT
GLAZED ALCOHOL-INK TILES
Grades 2 - 12 (Adaptable)
Glazed alcohol-ink tiles offer an engaging lesson in color mixing, warm & cool color use, pattern making, composition, and design.Students can work individually or in groups to create a series of tiles which, when dry, are covered (by the teacher) in a clear, gloss, polyurethane glaze. Finished tiles can be used separately (possibly as coasters), displayed on standing tile holders, or combined to form a stunning wall mural.
The history of decorative tiles is long and colorful. Early examples can be found in Egypt (4,000 BC), Tunisia (9th Century), Iran (11th Century), and Europe (13th & 14th Centuries). Decorative tiles have been used to adorn churches, mosques, temples, monuments, and palaces. Today, decorative tiles can be found nearly everywhere in both mass-produced and artisan forms. Glazed alcohol-ink tiles are a contemporary, fun, and grade-adaptable tile decoration project.