The inspiration for creating my own handmade time piece originally came from reading Teri's The Lovely Drawer's blog, where she made a clock with a redundant bread board. Do check it out as it even has the links on where to buy the hands.
If you have been following me you will know that I recently moved into my new ceramics studio - and I'm not kidding, it is so easy to loose track of time, so once I had seen Teri's blog I knew that I had to make my own porcelain clock.
It turned out so well, that I'm so happy. Here it is hanging up in my studio with my beautiful kilner light from Jam-Jar lights (who are offering 10% off before May 11th).
I thought you might be interested to know how I made it... This tutorial is aimed at those who already have a working knowledge of clay. I know not many people have access to porcelain (but am fairly sure similar principles can be applied to air-drying clay?). I've tried to suggest alternatives if you don't have access to the same tools that I have.
These measurements are approximate as it depends how big you want your clock to be, and its best to have too much as you can always use it for other projects as long as you wrap it up well. My finished clock was 22cm across.
Take a chunk of white porcelain - I took about 2.5 inches off a roll, and then I took about a third of this in black porcelain. There are different ways to marble clay. I squidged the two together then separate them twisting them apart and put them back together with the opposite ends. (might need to do another tutorial on this with an extra pair of hands!).
Pat the clay into a ball - the pattern might not look that interesting yet - but roll out the clay with two wooden slats on either side. I actually have a pastry rolling pin which measures the thickness of the clay as you roll it out. You will need to do this between layers of fabric so that you can keep turning it ove. Then leave the clay to harden slightly. (It is easier to put the hole in now - which you can do with a pen-lid so you know where the centre is).
I then drew a template with a compass to 26cm on card (but if you have a plate you can cut round that). Porcelain shrinks by a third so the finished measurement is 22cm across. The next part is quite tricky - I drew round the circle very carefully with a sharp knife. I then used a hole piercer to create the hole. (again bigger than it needed to be; but if its not quite the right size don't worry as you can sand it down once it is fired and the clock fitting has a generous centre piece to hide the workings).
I then left the clay to slow dry for about two weeks - keeping it compressed under a board and turning it occasionally. Then it was ready to first fire. After first-firing I sanded down the sides to make it smooth and the clock-face to bring out the marbling. It was then ready for the second-firing.
The clock fittings have the instructions of how to fit them, I had to cut mine down slightly to fit my clock-face as I had made it as a big as possible for my kiln already. The clock part even as a hook space so I didn't need to worry about how to put the clock on the wall.
This understated design fits in with my studio so well and its so nice to have made it myself. Do you have any DIY projects happening that you've done recently that you're proud of? Go on... Share away.
If you don't fancy making your own, then then I am accepting commissions on etsy to make a similar item. Click on the link to go directly to my shop.
Hi! I'm a ceramicist, based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Combining beauty and function my porcelain vessels are everyday objects you'll want to treasure. My work is slip-cast and wheel-thrown.