I’ve got a couple of tiles here to show you that illustrate this idea – if you aren’t satisfied with your work, don’t live with it, see if you can correct it. Both of these tiles went through several stages to get to their final look.
This first one, a bird. Originally I painted (with Velvet underglazes) a bird on this tile. I hated the way it looked and washed it off. Sometimes by doing this I get a nice weathered look. I don’t have a photo of how it looked before I washed it off (that would be before the 2nd firing that sets the color) but here it is after that firing:
I like the look of the terracotta clay showing through, but I am not happy with the bird’s look. I took some Amaco TP glaze (the “shiny”) and added it in green. Another firing and here is the end product:
The photo does not do it justice, but believe me, it looks better with more green definition, and I like the contrast of matte and shiny.
Here they are together:
Next up, a sunshine and a little creature in a house. I had the same problem with it as the bird tile – I hated my initial image and I washed the underglaze off the tile, leaving some of it for an image. I also put clear glaze over the sunshine and the house area. Here is stage one after firing:
Not quite what I wanted. I did not like the roughness of the big open blue area. So I added a little of a white translucent glaze in the open area.
Ugh. No good. I considered throwing the tile away but I liked the figures a lot and I thought – one more try. I added more black around the sunshine, I dappled white underglaze in the open area, and I gave the roof of the house some color. (Please excuse the bad photo, I can’t seem to get a good picture of this tile at this stage. I need work on my photo technique for glazed items and their bothersome reflections.)
Now I was happy (take my word for it, the tile looks happy now). Here are all three versions together:
I can’t say these are masterpieces but I like their look now.
Renovating artwork is often worth doing, but it is also important to know when to give up and just throw the item away – when your time will be better spent on something new. What kept me going was that I liked my drawings and I thought I could make things work out.