Zihuatanejo, Mexico

                                 The Tile Maker's Apprentice
Step one: fill the mold from the pile of clay behind the water stump. This took more clay than I suspected.

A somewhat sloppy job, but I got it done.


Next, I tried smoothing out the clay with the little wooden roller - something like using a rolling pin on cookie dough. Note the tile maker's amusement...

Then I slid that sucker onto the semi round form!

Then I added my tile to the rest. I had to pull the semi round form out straight or the tile would collapse.

The tile maker gave me a palm frond so I could sign my tile. I wrote "Elena," but in so doing, I collapsed the tile! He showed me how to re-insert the shaper, add a bit of water to re-smooth, then draw the shaper out again. SUCCESS! My roof tile kept its shape, and I fantasized that my signed tile would be gracing a roof in Zihuatanejo for years to come... (The tile maker probably re-cycled the clay as soon as I left, but I can dream...)  One thing I learned from this exercise is I would starve if I had to depend on my ability to make tiles...