How to Make a Clay Garden Sphere

Create a unique piece of outdoor art with speckled stoneware clay and clay-carving tools
hclvr315_2final2

hclvr315_2final2

Materials and Tools:

speckled stoneware clay
wire clay cutter
slab roller or rolling pin
round balloon
assorted clay tools: pin tool, carving tools, soft rubber rib
wooden pizza paddle
chartreuse-green commercial glaze
paintbrush
small sponge
water
stilts
electric kiln
display stand

Steps:

1. Cut four 1-inch thick pieces of clay from a stoneware-clay brick.

2. Place the four pieces in an overlapping square.

3. Roll the four sections through a slab roller to form one large slab of clay.

4. Blow up a round balloon half-full of air.

5. Wrap the clay slab around the balloon and remove any excess clay.

6. Pinch the clay together and smooth it with your fingers to cover the entire surface of the balloon.

7. Continue smoothing and shaping the clay around the balloon with a rubber rib until it becomes a sphere.

8. Tap the ball with a wooden pizza paddle to continue the shaping.

9. Once the ball shape is formed, use the pin tool to pierce the clay and pop the balloon inside. Note: It's OK to leave the balloon inside; it will just burn out in the kiln. Or if you decide to poke holes in the sphere as part of the design, you may be able to gently remove it through a hole in the clay. Either way, be sure there's a small hole in the sphere to allow heat to escape in the firing.

10. Allow the ball to dry to the leather hard stage.

11. Carve words or a design into the sphere with various clay-carving tools.

12. Allow the piece to finish drying to the bone dry stage.

13. Bisque fire the ball in an electric kiln. Let cool and remove from the kiln.

14. Paint glaze onto the ball.

15. Use a damp sponge to remove any excess glaze from the surface of the ball, allowing only the glaze in the carved areas to remain.

16. Fire the glazed sphere on stilts in an electric kiln for the final finish.

17. Display on a stand.

Next Up

How to Make a Primitive Platter

Meg Spielman Peldo makes a ceramic platter, breaks it, then reassembles it to create this work of art.

How to Make a Ceramic Garden Sculpture

Sculpt facial features and flowers from clay to create a whimsical work of garden art.

How to Make Colorful Mosaic Garden Art

Learn how to make mosaic art for your garden using three-dimensional tiles and marbles.

How to Weld Metal Flower Garden Art

Make a metal flower from five forks with metalworking techniques.

How to Make Ceramic and Metal Garden Art

Make a ceramic face and attach it to transmission gear to create a whimsical garden sculpture.

How to Make an Etched Ceramic Vase

Etch a creative design in a ceramic vase to match any style room.

How to Make a Glazed Wall Plate

Decorate your walls with plates that shimmer with a crystalline ceramic glazing technique.

How to Make a Coiled Ceramic Bottle

Create a one-of-a-kind bottle featuring a colorful block pattern.

How to Make a Ceramic Cactus Vase

Make a nature-inspired pottery vase using a gelatin mold.

How to Make a Lollipop Garden Sculpture

Recycle plastic lids to make this whimsical piece of outdoor art.

On TV

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.