Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 Christmas Ornaments

Nothing ever happens *quickly* in my studio!  

Case in point: I started this year's colleague-ornaments much later than usual and, on September 15, I decided to dig through my (vast) cookie cutter collection.

This was my inspiration:

This, combined with an article I'd read on Lakeside Pottery's page - about fusing glass with ceramics.  The article is here.

I went with their recommendation and purchased my glass from American Specialty Glass.  I purchased one pound each of Turquoise, Yellow Chunky, Light Green and Chunky Red Terrazzos.  All were Size 2 - except for the yellow which only came in size 3 (larger chunks).

I figured, since this was an experiment, I'd better allow for a high mortality rate, so I made a BUNCH of ornaments!
Yeah, that oughtta work!
Smooth stoneware, greenware stage

I bisqued them at cone 05 - nothing earth shattering there - then I applied Coyote liquid underglazes: Really Red, Yellow, Light Blue, and Western Irish Green (ran out of green Coyote LUG).  I left the raised oval and the inside of the ovals colorless (on most of them).  Then I went and coated the topsides with clear glaze - again, leaving the inside of the oval (where the glass will go) completely bare - but I did clear-glaze the "raised" ovals...

Here they are, in the kiln, with the glass shards placed inside the ovals.  The trick was finding the "optimal" number of shards to place in each oval.  I wanted the glass to melt and pool inside of the ovals.  Not enough glass, and the colors tend to break-up.  Too much glass, and it kind of oozes over the oval and totally screws up the LUG coloring on the outside...  I lost appx 1/4 of my ornaments due to "too much glass oozing" - Oops!

Anyway, I did a Fast-Glaze firing profile - no hold, no preheat - at Cone 6 in my electric kiln.  And I am pretty pleased with the results!

I really like how the glass crackled and looks all shimmery!  But - like I say - I had a lot of losses as well (not gonna post my "failures!").  The Turquoise, Yellow and Light Green were the nicest.  Red had a tendency to "break-up" in color.

Still not bad - but the other colors came out nicer.

I think I'd made about 28 ornaments total (for 18 co-workers).  I ended up with just a couple extras - when it was all said and done.  

Project started on September 15, and I just BARELY finished them in time for our office Holiday Party on December 11!

Anyway, my colleagues seemed to appreciate them, so I think this was a successful experiment!


  1. Nice work! The only bummer with the extras is that you can't eat them like you can when they're cookies ;)

  2. Thanks! Yeah, they definitely aren't edible (Ouch!).

    If I had more storage space, I'd probably keep my "seconds," bust 'em up, and make mosaics.