Blog entry

Spring Vegetable Garden Tags

Vegetable Garden Tags on Ebay

Vegetable Garden Tags 
Update: Feb 18, 2017: I've had one of these tiles nailed up outside on my porch for nearly a year. It looks just as good now as it looks in the photo here! I'm happy. ====

I’ve discovered a new, extra use for my color “test tiles”. These are vegetable garden tags also known as garden plant markers to keep your garden neat and beautiful. For a simple Cottage or Farm look, attach a hook or nail to a post, plant the post at the end of a garden row, and hang the vegetable garden tag on the post hook. Simple! Or if one wanted to get fancy, a wrought iron stake could even be used in a Victorian style garden with these tags tied to the stake. 

These plant markers have a very nice feel to them in the hands. These plant markers could also be used as kitchen or restaurant decoration and as windchimes.  The sound they make is similar to domino game tiles. 
I had mixed up a batch of Terra Sig, then added stains and oxides to get colors. Terra Sigillata (aka “Terra Sig” for short hand) means “sealed earth” and has been used to finish clay for thousands of years.
Once I made the Terra Sig color batches, I needed to test the colors to see if they would turn out as the colors I had anticipated.
What better way to test than on these vegetable garden tags? These garden tags are made of stoneware clay. Each tag is cut from a sheet of clay and impressed with the design and letters. When the clay was dry, I brushed on a couple of coats of Terra Sig on each plant marker. The last coat of Terra Sigillata was left to dry off the sheen, but not totally dry. At that exact moment when the sheen disappeared, the Terra Sig was burnished by hand to create a seal. 
The Terra Sigged plant markers were then bisqued fired. The last treatment was a wash of stain so that the letters would show up clearly. The stain also adds a nice weathered look to enhance the texture. Then the garden plant markers were final fired. Since these are made of stoneware clay they should be ok in most weather, but it is best to take them indoors during freezes, especially if there is water, snow or ice. Water in the crevices of the letters, rims, etc. will expand when frozen, which likely will in turn cause the vegetable garden tags to crack or break.  
Since I was thinking of color testers, I made only one set of these.  
Not all of the colors turned out the way I thought they would, but they are all lovely. And the vegetable markers are unique. Each garden plant tag is about 3.5” long (that’s about 9 to 9.5 cm), and about 2” wide (about 5 to 5.5 cm wide). 
This set of vegetable garden tags has 10 pieces. 
The vegetables listed and the colors are:
1. Squash (French Green)
2. Carrots (Ivy Green)
3. Tomato (Chartreuse)
4. Beans (Turquoise, says Dark Turquoise)
5. Onions (Beige, says Light Blue)
6. Cukes (Lavender)
7. Peas (Creamy Pale Yellow, says White)
8. Lettuce (Midnight Blue, says Dark Teal)
9. Zucchini (Yellow)
10. Peppers (Peach, says Orange)