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Bob Coyle

Member Since 06 Jun 2013
Offline Last Active May 25 2017 09:46 AM
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Topics I've Started

How Do You Make A Bird Bath?

20 March 2017 - 05:24 PM

So I thought I would make ceramic bird baths for some of my outdoor sculptures... It's just a big plate...what could go wrong??

 

Well first off, I decided to just go with an 18 inch slab with upturned rims. I dried it too fast and the lovely upturned rim detached itself from the body.

 

So maybe I was stressing the clay around the rim by just bending it up by hand and paddling it on the outside. So I rolled out another slab and brought it to almost leather hard with a heat gun and slapped it down on an 18 inch bat on my wheel. I spun the edge up as I normally would for a plate, and worked the bottom of the container with a rib to try to minimize s cracks.

 

Well the bird baths are now drying ...slowly... but I noticed that the center has a slight upward bulge. I sprayed it with water to soften it and pushed it back down, but as soon as it got dryer, the bulge was back.

 

The good news is that the rim is holding on this time. Lord knows what will happen when I fire it.

 

So any of you large platter makers...What am I doing wrong and How do you do it right?