How to Make Ceramic and Metal Garden Art
Make a ceramic face and attach it to transmission gear to create a whimsical garden sculpture.
Materials and Tools:
red iron oxide
3-foot length of ¼-inch steel rod
bucket of water
1. Center a 2-pound ball of clay on the potter's wheel and form it into a dome. Smooth the dome with a metal rib.
3. Carve the clay to form the face. Carve out the eyes, rough in the mouth and lips, form the creases around the nose and lips and chin, and add eyebrows and the nose.
4. Set the ceramic face aside to dry to a leather-hard stage. This may take anywhere from an hour to six weeks depending on the climate and time of year. When the piece has reached a leather-hard stage, hollow out the back side to make it lighter (thick wares tend to blow up in the kiln). Allow the piece to dry to a bone-dry state.
5. Bisque-fire the ceramic face in the kiln.
6. Glaze the ceramic face with red iron oxide, allow it to dry and then sponge off the top surface of the piece, leaving heavy iron in the crevices and making the iron on the surface in the high places much thinner.
7. Fire the piece in a gas-fired kiln to 2,400 degrees.
9. Cut out metal leaves from 18-gauge steel with a plasma cutter.
11. Remove the ceramic face from the kiln and apply silicone glue with a caulking gun around the back edge. Glue it to the gear. Allow the piece to dry for 24 hours before moving.
12. Glue the ceramic face to the gear. Allow the piece to dry for 24 hours before moving.