Tis The Seasons To Create Christmas Ornaments – During Christmas

Clay Christmas Ornament

Are you tied to the seasons? Do you want to buy your winter clothes in the winter only to find spring clothes in the stores or want to buy summer clothes during the summer to find autumn clothes in the stores?

Tied To The Seasons

I am tied to the seasons too. Maybe because I grew up on a farm, and farming is run by the seasons. You can’t grow produce in the winter or cut hay in the rain.

Not only am I tied to the seasons when I buy clothes, but also when I make pottery. Just before Christmas is when I want to make Christmas ornaments, snowmen, and angels. If I want to sell my ornaments in time for Christmas, I need to have them made by September. Making them during Christmas is obviously too late.

This ornament resembles the old-fashioned glass ornaments we hung on our Christmas tree. Notice the green in the glaze melted into the crevese and the sandy brown covers the raised areas.

Christmas was over, and our family had gone home, I was inspired to make several Christmas ornaments from one of my wooden embossed stamps. I made several like the one above. I was on an ornament-making roll. This year, they’ll be ready for September sales.

I also made two reindeer ornaments. I cut them out with 2 new cookie-cutter shapes I’d recently bought. My husband likes the diamond shape one. Which one do you like, the diamond or the longer one? I like both of these shapes.

Which shape do you like? These aren’t finished. They’ll need to be fired in my kiln then glazed and fired again.

I Got Sidetracked

The holiday was over, and the decorations were put away. Did I keep making more ornaments from the other stamps and more reindeer ornaments? No. I turned cups on my wheel instead. I’m so seasonal-driven.

I left these stamps and the rolling pin on my table to remind me to make them. If I put these away in the cupboard, out of sight, out of mind, they’ll get forgotten and they won’t get made for next Christmas sales. I’ll make them soon, then I can clean up my work table.

My rollers and stamps on my table remind me to make these ornaments

How They’re Made

I rolled out a slab of porcelain clay and dusted it with cornstarch. Cornstarch prevents the wooden block from sticking to the clay. With a firm even pressure, I pressed the stamp onto the clay, making sure all of the design was embossed into the clay.

I have always cut my clay out with an X-Acto knife. I have watched videos of other potters using pin tools to cut out clay. I tried using my pin tool. The pin tool didn’t cut as neatly as my knife did. It left crumbs of clay on the edges, which I had to wipe off. Maybe I held the pin tool at too much of an angle. I made an executive decision. I’m going back to using my knife for cutting out ornaments.

I cut and bent loops of Nichrome wire that can be fired in my kiln and pushed them into the tops of the leather hard ornaments. I’ll string a ribbon through the loop to hang them on a Christmas tree. These ornaments can also be used to make mobiles.

Clay can warp while drying and being fired in the kiln. To prevent this, I lay the ornaments on a piece of drywall and then gently set another piece of drywall on top of them. Contractors, drywall installers, or home builders always have pieces of drywall left over. If you know someone who is building a house or you happen to drive by a construction site, ask them for drywall scraps. Mine came from our home renovations. I taped the edges with duct tape to prevent the gypsum board from flaking off.

Once the ornaments are bone-dry, I will fire them in my kiln. Check out my YouTube video on making these.

Painting Ornaments

I decorate them in two different ways. One way is to glaze them with a ceramic glaze that breaks. It doesn’t actually break, that’s what potters call these glazes. The glazes have 2 to 3 colours in them. One colour melts into the crevices while another colour stays on the raised edges. This enhances the embossed design.

Another way I decorate them is to paint coloured underglazes on the pieces, making sure the paint is in the crevices. I wipe the colour off the tops with a damp sponge, which exposes the raised white parts. This effect leaves the colour in the grooves and the raised edges white, like the ornaments below.

Which shape and colour of these ornaments do you like?

I have these ornaments for sale on Etsy and more. I haven’t added ornaments to my shop here yet. You can purchase them on my Etsy shop and have them in time for Christmas. The orange button takes you to my Etsy shop.


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