Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weekend Projects: Garden Sculptures, Tilly Pots, and a Monster!

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am seriously into making anything and everything for my garden out of clay. I used to make things out of our local creek clay when I was a kid, and I still think messing around with mud is a lot of fun. I've made dozens of pots for Tillandsias, cacti, and mesembs, but I've been enjoying some sculpting, too. I'm no Rodin, and I wouldn't even make the cut as a house-mouse in Rodin's workshop. But I am very enthusiastic.  Here are two Tilly pots from the first batch of sculpture-pots:

"Abuela"- Tillandsia Sculpture 2013 MR
I made this one for a particularly delicate Tillandsia argentea fineleaf. It gets crumpled by any neighbors, and to look good, needs to be displayed on its own.

"Il Vecchio"- Tillandsia Sculpture 2013 MR
Here, a Tillandsia filifolia makes a funky hat for an old dude!

Then there are some sculptures to just put near the plants. They look like they could be plant spirits, or garden sprites, so they fit in.
"Plant Sprites" - MR 2012 and 2013

This one looks a little like a bird:

Finally, you don't need clay and a kiln to make garden sculptures. Papier mache' works very well, particularly if you coat it with waterproof acrylic glaze, or some such thing. Most hardware stores and artists' supplies will have a number of waterproof clear coats to choose from.  This sculpture is Pudge. I wish I had given him a bowl to hold a Tilly, but that will have to wait for Pudge II. Pudge I has no arms...maybe he will grow them.
"Pudge" by MR 2012, papier mache'

Have a fun and creative weekend, and enjoy your gardens!


  1. Looks fantastic! I always wanted to make my own pots, but wouldn't know how to go about it aside from renting time at a workshop. How do you fire and glaze the clay, or do you go somewhere to do it?

  2. Hi, Melody!
    I'd take a basic ceramics class; so much of ceramics is technical, and a good teacher can tell you what you need to know in one course. That will get you started. I make the pots at home in my tiny studio, bisque them at the community kiln, glaze them at home, then back to the kiln. But there are small kilns that don't require you to re-wire your house; they are called sample kilns, cost a few hundred dollars (US), and you can make 1-2 small items per day at home. That can be a good solution, as community kilns are not that common these days. Your local "paint a mug" ceramics store might agree to fire your pots for a fair price, though. Some will and some won't. I hope you give it a try!

  3. Pudge looks pensive...Has he been reading your Pensive Tuesdays?!