Roof Tiles

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This image from a Ming dynasty manual shows how roof tiles are formed using a round circular wooden mold.

Can you match the activities in this print to those pictures below?


Woodblock print showing how tiles are made          source


This method is still used today throughout China.


Some automation of the process has made more tile styles available.




After a flat rectangular piece of clay has been formed to the desired shape, it is placed on a wooden mold which has been covered with a moistened cloth.


What do you think the block at the bottom of the picture is used for?






The mold is mounted on a wheel, so the clay can be smoothed quickly to a uniform shape and size.

After the clay has been placed on the mold, it is tamped into shape.









The wooden frame is taken out, and the cylinders of clay are left to air dry. After the clay has dried, it is broken into four segments. These are then fired in a kiln.


Look at the roofs of other houses in the Homes section, especially at the eaves. You can see the undulating line of roof tiles. 


How would the tiles at the left be arranged on a roof for maximum protection?




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