I must admit, I’ve never been terribly disciplined about my test tiles through the years.
I’m pretty good about taking careful notes; too many times I’ve been burned by shoddy notes. However, I do tend to slap those careful tests on whatever’s laying around. The result is a box full of well-documented, mismatched shapes and shards.
I finally got sick of the mess. It prompted me to search for a standardized test tile. Many options were considered: wheel-thrown, slab-built, pinched, and free-formed. Eventually, I settled on an extruded tube, a variation on something I saw Bill Van Guilder using.
These tubes are uniform, stable, strong, and provide for a lot of information in a relatively small space. They look great in a box or hanging on the wall, and they feel good to the touch. That’s my favorite part. About the only thing they don’t do is replicate a thrown surface. I figure I can live without that. After nine months of using them, I can tell you the time and effort it takes to produce these things ahead of time is well worth it. It reminds me: if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it right. ∆