How to make Repeating Pattern Tiles and Molds
 
Repeating tile patterns are patterns that use a limited number of individual tile patterns to achieve unlimited runs of tile, usually installed as borders. Notice the far left and far right tiles shown are identical. This pattern "repeats in 3" meaning every third tile matches.
This pattern "repeats in 1." Each tile is identical, yet together they make a vast pattern. (Actually, you can make repeaters the work both horizontally and vertically in the same pattern! click image at right to see an example.)
This pattern also "repeats in 1." Each tile is identical but each is colored (underglaze in this case) differently. Note that the right end of one tile and the left end of its neighbor must match in this particular color scheme.)


The first step is always design. By definition repeaters need to match up with the tiles on either side. This process can be quite simple or can be quite complex.

This particular design had to be limited to two tiles and be able to create inside and outside corners without additional molds.

Click here for info on drawing repeating patterns.

Assuming we are going to make dozens or even hundreds of copies of our repeating tiles, we will need to build a set of molds for our tiles.

Glossing over issues with creating a model (sizing, draftability, shrinkage, etc.) we go right to mold making. Click here for Model Making info.

We build a flask to hold our wet plaster. The mold must be brushed with a mixture of oil soap and water (½ & ½). The seams need to be plugged with waste clay. Anywhere the wood meets the floor or any small gaps or holes in the flask boards need to be filled.

Click here to learn about making molds.


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