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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make Clay Trays

Make these easy trays to help organize jewelry and other household items.

How to Make an Ice Lantern

Use winter's frosty temps to your advantage when decorating your home's outdoors for the holidays. These ice lanterns are pretty, festive and just require water, plastic containers and a chill in the air.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make a Rosemary Gin-Ginger Cocktail

On a winter evening you need flavors that are bold enough to match the crisp outdoor temperatures. Try this easy cocktail to warm you up. 

How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Transform inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes into faux "mercury glass" candle holders using silver and gold leaf. These chic, handmade accessories will bring a little shine to any Christmas arrangement.

How to Make a Wood Cutting Board

Woodworking projects can be intimidating, but this project is actually easier than you may think. With basic shop materials and dense hardwood, which is the best wood for cutting boards, you'll be able to create a chef-worthy chopping accessory that any foodie would love.

How to Make Mini Pinecone Elf Ornaments

Everyone loves an adorable, handmade ornament, and this miniature elf will bring instant cheer to any holiday tree.

How to Make Rolled Paper Roses

Paper flowers fashioned from old book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper are a frugal alternative to store-bought ribbons and bows.

How to Make Glittered Mason Jar Lanterns

Craft your own sparkling holiday lanterns on the cheap! Glitter, glue and an empty glass jar are all you need.

How to Make Giant Christmas Ornaments

Light up your exterior entryway with these fun and festive oversized ornaments.

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.