Ceramic Slow Plant Waterers

Ceramic Slow Plant Waterers

Ceramic Slow Plant Waterers

A friend of mine was cleaning out her grandmother’s storage unit and she found boxes of bisque and unbisqued slipcast ceramic. She knew ceramics is one of my hobbies and thought I would get a kick out of some partially finished vintage ware. And she hated to see it go to a landfill. I transformed them into ceramic slow plant waterers!

Several items were small birds and a frog that were sitting on hollow spikes with openings in their heads or mouths. I believe these were meant to be automatic plant waterers.  If you don’t glaze the spikes, then the water would seep into the soil slowly as the clay would not be vitrified depending on the firing temperature in the kiln.

I started by making little stands for each of them so I wouldn’t need to stilt them for glaze firing and allow for a drying rack between coats of underglaze and glaze. After the first bisque firing, I underglazed the beaks and crown with yellow and orange underglazes. Then I applied wax resist over that color to protect it while I worked the next steps.

I like to layer underglaze. I do thin layers, washes of watered down underglaze, spatter, and multiple small brush strokes with several similar but different colors. I’ve always like the Impressionist painters and like to use their painting style as inspiration. I also feel I get more depth and far less “paint by numbers” work,

Once I had my base color down and layered my brush strokes, I fired these again. This allowed me to apply a wipe away technique without damaging all the work I had previously done. I applied a heavy layer of brown or grey and allowed that to dry. Then I wiped away most of it leaving the color in the crevices of the texture to accent it.

The last step before glazing was to paint in the eyes and touch up the beaks and the crown. I glazed all of them with a Mayco clear glaze.

Ceramic Slow Plant Waterers
Before and after final glaze firingCeramic Slow Plant Waterers
Before and after final glaze firingCeramic Slow Plant Waterers
Before and after final glaze firingCeramic Slow Plant Waterers
Before and after final glaze firingCeramic Slow Plant Waterers
The underglaze layering process, in no particular order

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