Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's in the oven?

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!


  1. Love the ornament, AJ. I'm sure your parents will love it.
    It seems we have the same pasta machine, mine does the same thing. Annoying!

  2. Very cool! I bet your mom will love it!

  3. Doris, do you have the Amaco one?

    Mom and Dad did love it :) It baked up nicely, but I didn't have time to take a picture before I went over to their house.

  4. I love gifts made for me. It isn't that I don't appreciate someone buying me a gift, because I do. But to know that someone took the time to make me something is just fantastic. I hope this ornament turned out great...it looks good so far!