Double Tuiles - the earth didn't move
Day 5 of the 6 day shift cycle. Shift 8:00 pm till 4:00 am
Tiles made: Double Tuiles GR13 Brun Masse - 4200
Dry Tiles unstacked: Double Tuiles GR13 Rouge
Making roof tiles we use 2 different types of clay:
Red - the clay is light brown and takes on the classic terra cotta red colour on firing. These red tiles are often coloured to get a range of tints from Straw thru Ocre to Rustic Brown
Black - the clay is nearly black and becomes a dark brown/grey on firing. These dark tiles are sometimes coloured to make them slate black
Last night we were making Double Tuiles on the DTP press in the dark clay (brun masse or BM)
The first problem we had was that the clay coming out of the mill was too hard. So hard that the press couldn't squash the tiles enough so they were too thick for the trimmer to cut through.
BM clay is naturally harder than the red and needs more water adding at the mill. So we turned the clay round and round the mill, bypassing the press, effictively passing the sameclay thru the mill so that more and more water can get added to it.
But because the clay was so hard, the trimmed pieces weren't folding and flopping as normal and the converor belt got blocked with all these off-cuts. Had to stop and clear it.
After we get running nicely it turns out that there is no more BM clay at the "preparation de terre" and we will be running out shortly. Great.
They scrape together some of the last stuff but it is really dry and powdery. So dry that even with the water in the mills on full, the clay starts to get too hard again. So we have to stop occasionally and cycle the clay until it softens.
Physically tho, an easy night. Gerard did all the stacking and I watched the press whil Julien set up the Bongio for the next shift. Julien was with us because "Nounours" is off at home with his wife and new baby boy. Julien is very relaxed, nice friendly guy.
Most of the crappy old balancelles have been replaced with 2-tray new green ones. fewer shelves but there are more balancelles closer together so it means more space on the chain