Sunday, March 25, 2007

Making Your Own Clay or Cob Pots and Planters?

Ok, here's my question: If making adobe tiles or bricks from the stuff you find in your own piece of ground is not that hard (the instructions seem pretty straightforward), I wonder how hard it would be to make flowerpots from the same? Rather than having a whole pottery setup with wheel, etc., couldnt very large planters be made somehow by hand and dried in the sun?

Or would that be too fragile? When I was looking up the adobe-making process, adobe bricks are simply seasoned in the outdoors for a prolonged drying period rather than fired. I know the material is very wet when it's first put out to dry. I wondered either if the same could be left to dry around forms that are the shape you'd want a planter/pot to be, or if flat homemade clay/adobe bricks could be joined to form them.

Anybody had any experience with this? Also, perhaps cob? I know there are cob ovens out there (at least I think that's the name of the material) Would it withstand the frequent watering, if used as a material for very large pots or planters?

Just wondering! :) Suggestions welcome!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have worked with clay for over 30 years and clay pots for use outdoors (year around) need to be high fired (2300+ degrees F.). I think you would be better off making some hypertufa pots/troughs that can be made and cured without firing in a kiln.

Here is link to an article that will explain the process, material required, etc.
http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00117.asp

Also, links to other web sites on this topic from a "Google" search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=hypertufa&spell=1

dbart
Kelso, WA

James said...

I was reading up on the Anasazi pueblo indians and how their society collapsed. That led me to the Zuni pueblo, which still exists in New Mexico.

The Zuni plant in what is called Waffle Gardens. They are raised adobe beds.

I like the idea and might make one sometime.

http://www.zunispirits.com/2006/zunitopics/wafflegarden.html

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Robbyn I think the deal with cob/adobe houses is that they are built in low rainfall areas with deep overhangs---partly to keep out the hot sun and also to protect the walls from water. The vertical aspect helps them dry quicker. Cement adobe (that is more commonly used now a days) might work though---you can use that to make shower walls and things from it, so maybe pots too??
Hypertufa would give you the same sort of look as "anonymous" mentioned. I don't think you HAVE to use peat for the mix---I think you can use compost or something like that. maybe. don't quote me---just what I heard. Overall though---fairly cheap to make even if you used bagged concrete mix. We've made pots just from our leftover cement mix projects---oil inside of metal/plastic bucket, poor in leftover cement, oil outside of smaller bucket, squoosh it in and fill with water to help hold itself down. Dry, flip, use.
Monica

Rachel Tungate said...

Cob is strongly associated with the west country, uk. The statement that it's only used in dry hot areas is not correct. Cornwall has built with cob for centuries and we get plenty of rain!

Anonymous said...

Cob is strongly associated with the west country, uk. The statement that it's only used in dry hot areas is not correct. Cornwall has built with cob for centuries and we get plenty of rain!

Anonymous said...

Agreed.In high rain areas a good roof is a must.I am goingvto give the cob planters a go. I made an cob earthoven and garden we get alot of rain.I have included cement in the mix.Keen to experiment with lime