Porcelain ornaments you roll, cut, paint Soft blue lines against the light gray color of the clay give thesehandmade ornaments the look of delftware pottery from Holland. But youcan easily make them at home–just take them to a ceramics shop forfiring.
You cut simple shapes from thin-rolled clay. Use a cooky cutter orcreate your own design pattern and cut around it with a craft knife.You’ll need cone-6 porcelain clay (about $9 for a 25-lb. bag),clear glaze ($1 for a 4-oz.
bottle), a colored underglaze pencil forceramic work ($1.50), a rolling pin, a 24-inch square of canvas, a flatbrush, and a clay-cutting tool or craft knife. Spread the canvas out on a work surface. Take a lump of clay aboutthe size of a tennis ball, throw it hard onto the canvas three or fourtimes to remove air bubbles, and roll it flat to about 1/8 inch thick.
You’ll find you can roll the clay thinner if you lift it off thecanvas periodically.
Cut shapes, peeling away excess from edges. With a toothpick orthe tip of the cutting tool, make a 1/8-inch hole in each ornament forhanging. Put the clay shapes on a sheet of newspaper and cover them with atowel so the top sides will not dry to quickly.
Turn them over twice aday for several days until they’re hard to the touch. To rent kiln space, check your community center or look in theyellow pages under Ceramic Equipment and Supplies. You’ll need toarrange two firings–the second one after the ornaments have beenglazed. Each firing should cost about 50 cents per ornament.
Photo: 1 Roll clay to 1/8 inch thick. Use a cooky cutter or cutaround paper pattern with ceramics tool or craft knife Photo: 2 After first firing, draw features and clothes withunderglaze pencil. We used blue; other colors are available Photo: 3 Coat top of ornament with clear glaze. Avoid getting iton sides or in hanging hole.
Next comes second firing Photo: Hand-drawn detailing on fired clay ornaments was done withunderglaze pencil. A clear glaze gives them a glossy, washable surface
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