A local garden club member, Mark Stephens, sends along the following two photos and remarks.

These blue tree are cool. An artist obtained permission to paint Port Moody’s city hall trees blue. They are flowering Japanese cherries which are in full bloom right now- eat your heart out all you Ontarians!

This is the completed clay pot man that was given to me as an unassembled kit( b-day gift). It took from last August to now to get it done! The surface was smeared with green algae to give it an old pot look.The plan is for the green paste to grow and cover the surface soon. The pots kept falling off each other before the glued dried( a lot of tape was used to help set the pots). Then, to speed up the drying, I put it by the fireplace- all the glue melted and it fell apart! A lot of work to get it to this stage. I think he needs some eyes- any suggestions?

My reply:

Mark

Great looking pot-head man.

A suggestion for assembling them would be to use a mortar system, which should join well with the clay pots in the same way it does with bricks. You could use a product called “expanding grout” or “non shrink grout”* which is really just a type of mortar which expands somewhat as it sets – just don’t put too much or pack it into a constrained place where the expansion might break the pot-pieces. Once it sets it would likely never let go. It would likely hold a couple of pebbles onto the outside of the pot to resemble eyes.

I think you have to moisten (or soak) the ceramic pots beforehand so that they don’t suck all the moisture out of the grout as it sets. I think too that these types of grouts set up much faster than normal mortars; the moist grout migrates into the ceramic, making them like one piece. You can buy it in building supply stores, either in bags or cans. You normally mix it with water, then give it a ‘slaking’ period where it rests, then apply it with a trowel – it cures as hard as rock.

Jim

“non shrink grout” – http://unicon.ca/store/product.php?productid=18100&cat=350&page=1

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