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Dave Emery Garden Sculptures

Having stopped using my big gas kiln to pursue other avenues I still wanted to keep my “ hand in “ throwing big ware. Many of my large vases are on display in gardens so it seemed a logical extension to move towards more sculptural pieces for outside. The main challenge was come up with pleasing designs that were modular so they could be fired in my small efficient kiln. It is quite an object lesson when making garden ware that something that looks huge on the wheel can look quite insignificant outside.

The main design criteria was to have an open form that lets the eye capture the back ground planting whilst still having a structural integrity. The pictures show work in progress and completed forms. All the designs are modular with each section just fitting into the kiln which is internally .5m by .5m. The designs ensure that the “joints” are quite wide in  diameter so inherently very stable when put together. I also leave the joints unglazed so that each section be cemented together like bricks to form a very strong structure. Incidentally the kiln I now use is very energy efficient using just over 3 kW which is largely supplied from the solar panels on the roof.

The use of solar powered pond lights simply installed in the base section afford an attractive diffuse effect in the evening by reflections from the inner glazed surface. Although intended for outside use these designs work well as a floor standing light in doors.

I am now adding an extra section to this design near the top to create a quite unique water feature.


This is one of the larger sections in construction. A large cylinder is thrown first with the top joint carefully measured. When leather hard coils of clay are then thumbed onto the outside which are then thrown to form the rings. Once these have dried a little circular holes are cut by hand and a coloured slip is used to enhance the relief of the design.


The top part of the design is made from two sections, a large thrown cylinder for the base and the lid from an inverted thrown bowl finally another small section is thrown directly on the top.


A completed form prior to firing in sections. I could really do with a larger workshop.

 Outside the sculpture blends in well with the background foliage visible through the form whilst the design still retains its integrety.
 Coloured lights add an extra dimension.  This fits in well as a floor standing light in a not particularly big conservatory.

The water feature has a fourth section below the top which is a large bowl with three overflows. The bowl has a hole in the centre to take a standard brass plumbing fitting which easily connects to a 22mm copper pipe running up through the centre connected to water pump installed in a tank below. This picture shows the system being tested before final installation on a bed of pebbles which hides the liner and tank beneath and the wiring hidden inside.

 Not easy to photograph at night but you can see the general effect and the benefit of simply installed water proof outside lights.

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