Ceramics and Wood

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Ceramics | Comments Off on Ceramics and Wood

At a glance, they might not appear to be two materials which could be combined to make something useful. Ceramics are generally fragile and prone to chipping, while wood is one of the most flammable things in the world and sometimes difficult to work with due to its density, as in the case of ebony wood. However, it’s possible to not only craft these two materials together, but also to get something of utility from the process. For a few minutes, let’s take a closer look at ceramics and wood, along with what can be made from these two things.

Have you ever heard of ceramic spoons? You can find different varieties of these if you really look. For instance, Chinese soup spoons are rather large spoons made entirely from ceramic ingredients, sometimes with rice fired in the mold to lend decoration to the item. In Europe and much of the Western world, ceramic spoons still come with ceramic bowls at the end of the handle, but the handles are actually made from some sort of durable, dense wood instead. They look a fair bit different, but it doesn’t do much to make them less fragile. Sometimes they are called bread spoons too.

It might seem counter intuitive to the flammable nature of wood, but the material can be combined with a ceramic cup shape to create a candleholder or candle stand if you prefer. The ceramic nub attached to the block of wood prevents the fire from ever touching it, so the whole wood burning thing isn’t such an issue. You can find good examples of these online with ease. Cutting the wooden bases from whole logs would be easy enough with a splitter to break the wood first. It may not be practical, but you can look at http://logsplitterpro.com/ to see more about these devices.

Because they break the wooden log into halves and can then further break those halves into smaller sections, log splitters are excellent for anyone who needs to process a great deal of wood quickly. You could even use one to cut a whole log into circles or discs rather than just splitting the thing right up the middle. A high quality gas log splitter would do the job as well as an electric model, though you could probably skip such devices and do the chopping yourself if you have a nice axe, saw and sander to work with.

As for other crafts which combine wood and ceramics, the list isn’t finished yet. One thing which hasn’t been covered yet though is how using wood as the fuel source when firing ceramics produces some high quality work just waiting to be finished. Also, it’s a bit less common in art, but there is a specific technique called trompe l’oeil which creates illusory 3D effects using different materials, often a combination of ceramic and wood parts to make the final piece. It’s kind of fascinating how many different ways ceramics and wood can be combined together to make something unique and new.