Intro: Jumbo PEZ Container (ceramic)
I made this jumbo sized PEZ container for my husband (an avid PEZ collector) years ago while in a college pottery class. I saw that there was a BIG & small make it challenge and decided this would be a fitting & fun project to "show & tell."Since this was done years ago, (before I met instructables) I don't have the actual photos, or access to the necessary supplies to reenact it all, so I've done the best I can to "fill in the gaps" with photographs of the finished product & a description of the steps I took to get there.
NOTE:This is a project best fitted for someone that has ceramics/pottery experience because this would be the LONGEST instructable EVER if I had to explain all the basics. That being said, I did try to explain & demonstrate in simplest terms & I've provided a few links where I felt further explanation may be required.
Step 1: Supplies & Equipment
about 3-5 lbs of pottery clay (you can either make your own or purchase it)
some cardboard & duct tape (to create a form)
paints & brushes
foil & super glue
You will need access to a ceramics kiln (I luckily had access to the universities huge kiln)
NOTE: Check locally at Universities or art studios for pottery classes, or ask if you can bring work in to be fired in their kilns.
Step 2: Creating the Design
To begin my process I first selected my model. I went with the classic multi-flavored PEZ package. They are surprisingly hard to find anymore. (Luckily my husband has hundreds of PEZ I could raid.)
I gave it a little more character by tearing off one end, exposing the candy, because I wanted to use the candy as the lid to the container.
Then I measured it's dimensions so that I could scale it to the size I wanted ( I did it 10 times the original size)
I then made a cardboard & duct tape form based on my calculated dimensions. The form will be used to support the weight & shape of the clay while it dries.
Step 3: Covering the Form
Now that you have the cardboard form constructed, you can begin covering it with your clay.
I rolled out a 1/4 inch thick huge slab with my clay. (just like you would sugar cookie dough) I made the slab large enough to cover the entire surface area of my project (just like wrapping paper)
Then I laid the large slab across the top of my form so that all the exposed surfaces are covered & left the bottom surface uncovered This way I could remove the form later.
I folded closed one end (bottom of package) & left the other end open (top of package)
I then cut a separate slab piece for the surface left uncovered, to be added on later.
Before setting the pieces out to dry I added a 1/2" lip to in inside of the opened end for the lid to rest on.
Don't forget to sculpt a PEZ candy lid too. (It should be slightly smaller then dimensions of the package end.)
NOW ALLOW EVERYTHING TO DRY TO A LEATHER HARD STAGE
Step 4: Prepping & Firing
Now that your pieces are leather hard we can prep them to be fired in the kiln. (This is where pictures would come in handy)
First take your PEZ candy lid & hollow out the bottom leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. This is necessary to prevent the piece from exploding in the kiln. If the clay is too thick the center will not be fully dried. Any moisture in the piece leads to cracks, or possible bits of PEZ shrapnel and nothing to show for your efforts.
On to the bigger picture...take your main piece & gentle remove the cardboard form. This will create a PEZ shell, so to speak.
Before adding that last piece on you will need to fill the "shell" with crumpled news paper to help support the shape & weight of the container while it finishes it's drying process. (The paper will easily burn away in the kiln)
You can now complete your container by adding that lonely surface piece. To do this you will score & slip the edges where the shell & your surface piece will meet. Then round out the corners with a little extra clay. (Much like slab pottery)
It's time to set the completed container & lid aside to finish drying for the kiln.
Once the pieces are bone dry, they can be loaded in the kiln & fired, becoming a solid bisque ceramic PEZ container.
Step 5: Detailing
Once your piece has been fired & cooled it is now a bisque ceramic. It will be completely white like a beautiful blank canvas.
Now get out your paint & brushes and get to work. Start with your base color. In my case it was the multicolored stripes. Next the lettering is all done by hand & eye using your model as your guide. I sketched on my lettering with pencil first to check for placement & size. Then filled it in with the appropriate paint.
Don't forget your awesome candy lid. Select the candy color you wish. I did purple. (I don't know why, purple isn't in the package LOL)
I sponged the color on very lightly to give it that dry, speckled, candy look.
Lastly, I super glued a piece of foil on around the end then smooth it out so that it was tightly fitting & showed the details on the bottom of the package.
WHEWWW...It was a lot of work, but worth it. It's become a family heirloom that will be passed down along with the rest of the PEZ collection.