According to the National Gardening Association, “When you Garden, You Grow.”
Planting a garden is an enriching experience not only for soil and seed, but also for you, the gardener. When trowel pierces moist earth, there is something that feeds the soul, and the satisfaction one feels nurturing the garden and watching it develop is hard to describe in words
Back by popular demand…glazedOver rustic garden stakes!
I make my herb and veggie stakes from slabs of stoneware clay which I first roll out with a slab roller and then allow to air dry until the clay is just shy of leather hard. Then I cut out each stake, smooth out the edges and incise the letters and dots with a ball tip stylus. Like any flat ceramic piece, the stakes need to dry very slowly, otherwise they’ll warp, so I lay them side by side in a single layer and allow them to dry between cut pieces of sheetrock which not only keeps them perfectly flat but also helps to absorb the moisture from the clay. Once they are bone dry, I bisque fire them to approximately 1800◦ F.
When the stakes have cooled, I slosh a coat of glaze on the entire surface of the stakes and then I wipe off each one with a sponge. In this way, the glaze only stays in the incised areas and not on the surface of the speckled clay, which itself has such a charming character that it’s a shame to completely cover it up. As a final step, I paint on the glaze along the edges of the stakes to frame up the composition nicely. One more firing, this time to around 22oo◦ F and viola!
So what are you waiting for? Go plant!