Fish in the Garden
The fish are made of stoneware clay (ceramic) that is fired to maturity at 2,200 degrees f, with glaze added before the final firing. Glaze is almost all silica, with pigments and metals added for color and other qualities, so the final product is a durable and lasting ceramic fish that has the qualities of stone with a glass coating. For stainless steel fish, chromium is added to the steel during its production to create 'chrome steel' know for its stability and weather resistance. The brushing gives finished fish a nice texture. Ceramic fish can stay outside year round, even in cold climates. Stoneware clay that has been fired to maturity does not absorb water or change with heating and cooling. It takes on the quality of a stone. Most people bring their fish inside during the winter because they look just as good inside the home as they do outside. The only threat to the ceramic fish is a direct impact from a heavy object. Tyson M. Weiss' fish start as a slab of stoneware clay and is created in stages over a 2-4 day period. Steps have to be done when the clay is at very specific stages of its drying. Once Weiss feels the fish has the right form, it dries over 3-5 days and is then raku fired to 1,888 F degrees. New garden trout and koi are made using a slip-casting technique. The average length of time from start to finish is 14 days. Weiss' steel fish are fabricated by a nice couple in Southern Maine.