A Christmas ornament is in the oven! Ok, it's not very Christmas-y, but both of my parents like dragons, so it's appropriate. And it's a nice Christmas-y shade of green, with gold (and also blue, but maybe the blue is for Chanukkah. It's a mixed-faith dragon). This picture was taken right before I popped it in the oven, in case it doesn't turn out. At this point, it has about another 20 minutes to go, so I won't know for a bit if it's a success or a dud.
I wanted to make more ornaments, and let my friends take their pick at the game tomorrow night, but the vast majority of my clay is rock-hard and/or crumbly. Next time JoAnn's or Michael's is having a good clay sale, I'll go restock. I might also pick up some more rubber stamps, since this was fun and relatively easy to do.
So, first I conditioned the clay by running it through my pasta machine a couple dozen times. This was the only annoying part, as the pasta machine has this seperate handle that goes in a socket, and it's loose, so it kept falling on the floor.
Once the clay was conditioned, I formed it into a semi-square shape and pressed down really hard with the dragon rubber stamp to make a really good imprint. I wanted to make a circular ornament, but I quickly discovered that I didn't have anything the right size to cut out a nice circle, and there's no way I could cut one free-hand. So instead I cut along the outline left by the edge of the rubber stamp. Then I used a tool to smooth the rough edges, and poked a hole in the top for a hanger.
Originally, I was going to just dust it with PearlEx powders, but I decided that it needed a little more, so I picked out a nice blue from my package of embossing powders, because I recalled reading that you could use them to make a cloissone-like effect. Of course, I have no idea where the book I read that in is, so I have no idea how to do it right. That's why I took a picture before baking. It may come out of the oven looking like some sort of mutant dragon freak. I had a little trouble getting the powder to just be where I wanted it, but nothing too bad.
After that, I dusted it with some gold PearlEx, and then used a paint brush to distribute it a little more evenly. I touched it up once more after taking the photo, because I noticed a couple of clumps. Now it has a nice all-over gold shimmer. Well, all over the front at least. I left the back plain.
All in all, including finding my supplies and cleaning up my mess, I think it took me an hour to make, and then 45 minutes in the oven. I'll probably put a quick glaze on it when it's done baking (another 5-10 minutes of work), and then it will be ready to go to my parents' house with me tonight. Yippy!