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#1 Rosebud

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:11 PM

I am looking for information regarding the making of ceramic garden art/sculptures in terms of the clay body and firing temp to use as well as any suggestions for sealing them to minimize affects of weather changes. Also, I would like to know what, if any, books or DVDs are available offering instructions and projects for making various garden art and sculptures. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide regarding this topic.

#2 Jess

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:27 PM

I am looking for information regarding the making of ceramic garden art/sculptures in terms of the clay body and firing temp to use as well as any suggestions for sealing them to minimize affects of weather changes. Also, I would like to know what, if any, books or DVDs are available offering instructions and projects for making various garden art and sculptures. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide regarding this topic.



Architectural Ceramics for the Studio Potter by Peter King has some good clay and glaze formulations for outdoor ceramics.

#3 DAY

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:06 AM

The big problem with "stone" is the freeze/thaw cycle. That is how mighty mountains turn into clay. Check the absorption rate of the body you plan to use. Glazing puts an impervious "skin" over the clay.
When all else fails, use the Google.

#4 Doulla

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

I make garden pots using a crank clay. I fire the pots to 1240 degrees centigrade. Glaze will protect them but I do not use glaze. Instead I brush on a liquid bees wax or the other thing that can be used is liquid brick sealant. I use the same system for outdoor animal sculptures that I make. This winter we had alot of snow here and am happy to say that the only pots that broke were the ones I had bought from a garden center.

#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:44 AM

There are ^6 and ^1 clays that are freeze proof. Proven they survive in Ithaca, NY and Helena , Montana. Both locations have pretty winters.
here is a good link from Montana
http://www.chipclawson.com/index.html

I have posted the clay recipes previously here. Search for freeze proof clay or frost resistant clay
Marcia



#6 Rosebud

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

Thank you, Marcia. This information is very useful. I didn't know that freeze proof or frost resistant clay existed. I will check out the link.

Linda





There are ^6 and ^1 clays that are freeze proof. Proven they survive in Ithaca, NY and Helena , Montana. Both locations have pretty winters.
here is a good link from Montana
http://www.chipclawson.com/index.html

I have posted the clay recipes previously here. Search for freeze proof clay or frost resistant clay
Marcia




#7 perkolator

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:50 PM

What part of CA are you located? Here in CA we don't really have to worry about the freezing of outdoor sculpture, unless you live in the mountains where it snows. Usually, most stonewares will last a long while, especially if vitrified. We mostly once-fire our stoneware clay body at earthenware temps and many sculptures get stuck outdoors - haven't really had any issues as long as the piece was built well. Some pieces been around for at least 10-20yrs, but usually get smashed up to be replaced with fresh work before weathering becomes an issue. Glaze is your answer to most surfaces, unless the artist wants to seal raw clay with paint or deck sealant. We even have a few pieces that've been outside for around 10yrs and were painted with acrylic and latex house paint - only in the past 2yrs or so have they shown they'll need new paint due to UV exposure (full sun).

I think it really comes down to how long you plan on having it around. If it's 5-10 yrs I'd suppose most ceramics will survive, but if it's longer than that and your winters are harsh then you might need to make work specific to this situation.

#8 Rosebud

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:15 AM

<p>
I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, right next to the Tahoe National Forest. We do get snow up here, but not a whole lot. Lots of freezing tho. You must be more in central or southern or along the coast, if my guess is right. I appreciate your information and advice. I use stoneware clay body, BMX with grog, cone 5 and it does hold up nicely, but I have not kept it outside in the winter months. I have been asked to do a large garden sculpture so I want to make sure it will withstand temperature changes, because it is unlikely that it will be easily moved. She does live in Sacramento where the temperatures are not so extreme, so maybe it is not a problem after all. Anyway, your comments give me more confidence in making an outdoor sculpture.&amp;nbsp; Thank you.

<br><br>&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;

&lt;br&gt;What part of CA are you located?&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;Here in CA we don't really have to worry about the freezing of outdoor sculpture, unless you live in the mountains where it snows.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;Usually, most stonewares will last a long while, especially if vitrified.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;We mostly once-fire our stoneware clay body at earthenware temps and many sculptures get stuck outdoors - haven't really had any issues as long as the piece was built well.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;Some pieces been around for at least 10-20yrs, but usually get smashed up to be replaced with fresh work before weathering becomes an issue.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;Glaze is your answer to most surfaces, unless the artist wants to seal raw clay with paint or deck sealant.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;We even have a few pieces that've been outside for around 10yrs and were painted with acrylic and latex house paint - only in the past 2yrs or so have they shown they'll need new paint due to UV exposure (full sun).&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;I think it really comes down to how long you plan on having it around.&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;If it's 5-10 yrs I'd suppose most ceramics will survive, but if it's longer than that and your winters are harsh then you might need to make work specific to this situation.&lt;br&gt;

&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;</p><p>

<br>What part of CA are you located?&nbsp;&nbsp;Here in CA we don't really have to worry about the freezing of outdoor sculpture, unless you live in the mountains where it snows.&nbsp;&nbsp;Usually, most stonewares will last a long while, especially if vitrified.&nbsp;&nbsp;We mostly once-fire our stoneware clay body at earthenware temps and many sculptures get stuck outdoors - haven't really had any issues as long as the piece was built well.&nbsp;&nbsp;Some pieces been around for at least 10-20yrs, but usually get smashed up to be replaced with fresh work before weathering becomes an issue.&nbsp;&nbsp;Glaze is your answer to most surfaces, unless the artist wants to seal raw clay with paint or deck sealant.&nbsp;&nbsp;We even have a few pieces that've been outside for around 10yrs and were painted with acrylic and latex house paint - only in the past 2yrs or so have they shown they'll need new paint due to UV exposure (full sun).<br><br>I think it really comes down to how long you plan on having it around.&nbsp;&nbsp;If it's 5-10 yrs I'd suppose most ceramics will survive, but if it's longer than that and your winters are harsh then you might need to make work specific to this situation.<br>

<br><br><br>

</p>



#9 neilestrick

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:54 AM

It's not just about the clay absorbing moisture and cracking. You also have to design the piece to make sure that small puddles/pockets of water aren't trapped in such a way that they can cause cracking as the water freezes and expands.
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#10 Rosebud

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

Good point! Thank you, Neil.




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