Making a Ceramic Piano

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Daily Activities | Comments Off on Making a Ceramic Piano

Making a Ceramic Piano

Ceramics are not the only outlet for creativity in my life. I also love music, and I sometimes like to play music on my Yamaha YDP 181 digital piano. Recently, my piano playing intersected with my work with ceramics after I came across some beautiful green ware of a piano for sale at a shop that actually specializes in doll making. As pretty as its design was, I decided against using the green ware. Instead, I decided to use it as inspiration to sculpt my own piano so that it was one of the kind and exactly the size and look that I wanted. I was worried about the design being too blocky, so I really took my time with it. Instead of a digital piano or even an upright piano, I managed to make myself a pretty little baby grand. I have detailed that process in other posts, so I won’t go into any of the detail here, but will just say that I always find it enjoyable to work in clay.

The next stage in the process was allowing it to dry, which is only a matter of waiting. Then, comes the first firing in the kiln. This is the most nerve wracking part of the whole process for me, and I am always a little scared to look into the kiln after the first firing has cooled in case something has broken or cracked in the process. It is always such a shame when that happens. Everything went just fine this time though, thank goodness.

Ceramic PianoAfter the first firing in the kiln, I realized that painting a ceramic piano can be a bit of a challenge. For one thing, I don’t use black often in my work, but I decided that I did want to paint some of the keys black. This meant that I had to find a recipe for black glaze. Also, I had to decide on the color I wanted the main body of the piano to be. I realize that most real pianos are either black or brown, but I allowed myself a little creative license and painted my ceramic version in green.

After the glaze firing, I opened up the kiln and saw how the little piano looked for the first time. I say this because anyone who has ever done ceramics knows that the colors before firing always look different than afterward (sometimes significantly so). And, I was a little bit nervous about the black. There was no need to be because it turned out beautifully. I really love the colors, and I think it is such an unusual little piece. It’s not often you find a ceramic piano after all.

I have decided that I like it so much I will put it on display on the top of my real digital piano since I think that will be an appropriate home for it. I am happy that I tried making a piece that is a little outside of my comfort level, and I hope inspiration strikes again soon.