Whimsical Earthenware Garden Mushroom
Tyler Jones of St. Petersburg, Fla., turns pottery hobby into garden art.
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With a newborn at home and a full-time job as director of marketing for an arts center, it's surprising that Tyler has time for pottery, but since it is his passion, he makes the time. Then again, he is quick to note, "We have a 4-month-old that doesn't sleep, so we don't either!" Giving his work extra texture are his handmade stamps, made from all kinds of found objects like window screens, jewelry or patterned shoe soles, as seen in his "shroom in bloom" garden art.
Materials and Tools:
low-fire commercial glaze
hand-building tools: sponge, needle tool, wire tool
plastic container lid or other circle template
handmade stamps (created from shells, screen, buttons, jewelry, etc.)
canvas stretched on board
round form (upside down bowl, foam ball, etc.)
1. Cut 1 pound of white earthenware clay. Roll out slab using rolling pin on canvas board.
2. Cut circle (this will be the mushroom cap) with needle tool using plastic container lid (or any circle on hand) as a template.
3. Create design on circle using stamps, found objects or decorative tools.
4. Drape (hump) circle over form. Roll out a coil 6 to 10 inches long for the mushroom stem. Let both pieces dry 1 day.
5. Load pieces in kiln and fire to 1950 F degrees.
6. Unload and brush glaze on cap of mushroom. Fire to 1848 F degrees.
7. Stick mushroom stem in sand to hold in place.
8. Mix two-part epoxy. Place epoxy on stem and inside cap and put the two together. Let cure for 24 hours.
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Designer Dan Berger and the Landscape Smart team turn a sterile backyard into a whimsical garden in just two days.