Laser Etching Clay Tiles




This is the first step in a series of "experiments" I plan to execute with lasers and clay.  People familiar with lasers will know that laser etching glass is possible.  As glaze is essentially glass (being made up of silica combined with metal oxides that act as flux and colorant), we know that we can laser etch on glass.  I am interested in the result of etching onto wet clay and firing it to see the resulting quality of etching.  Additionally, (and with another Instructable!!) I will explore etching on bisque fired clay.

Materials & Tools

 - Clay - about 1.5 pounds of Light Gray Stoneware was used here (this is natural clay.  You CANNOT use polymer clay on the laser tables)
 - Two boards of equal thickness
 - Blue Painter's tape
 - Rolling Pin (for clay use only!!)
 - Clay Knives
 - Ruler 
 - Potter's Wire Tool
 - Spray Bottle of water
 - Sponge 

1. Cut your desired amount of clay from your block of clay.
2. Secure boards with painters tape to work surface and roll out clay into a slab. (This can be done on a slab roller as well)
3.  Measure and cut clay to desired tile size.
4. Prepare file for etching and place clay on a piece of wood or cardboard on the laser table.
5. Send file to laser & watch laser/clay etching magic happen!!

Once this is fired, I will upload an additional image of the tile.  Look for more laser etched ceramic Instructables soon!!

***Made at TechShop!!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Did you make any progress on this?

    Also, did you happen notice if the laser-etched surface was "fired" to any significant depth or was it just "pre-dried" or made rough by the process?