Sunday, December 13, 2009
So yesterday my brother and I fired some things we had made out of stoneware. I made a couple of ornaments for Stacey's birthday, a little black bud vase, and a tiny clay kitten for my boyfriend's stocking (he said he wanted a cat, but didn't trust his roomies around one :p). Alex made the pencil holder.
We tried some new things with the glazes this time. I cut patterns into my pieces before glazing them, and the shiny glazes fell into those cuts very well, while the flat glazes didn't really make that element pop. Also, we used tape to make some designs. My brother's pencil holder has a cool, very subtle design in it, because he taped off sections of it before painting the glaze on.
My brother and I were lucky to fall into a tiny kiln and 50 pounds of stoneware clay, but if you're not so lucky, there are storebought clays that bake hard in the oven and fabulous salt clays that can be mixed with spices like cinnamon to smell good AND look good. The kiln is a good grown-up toy, but the salt clays are fabulous kid crafts, and can be used with cookie cutters and regular kitchen supplies. Take a look at one of my favorite blogs for more awesome salt clay ideas!
Another (more expensive) idea is to find a store that sells unpainted clay items to paint and fire in store, like Paint A Dream. It's fun, no mess, and gives kids an item to take home that they made. However, pieces range from $18 and up, and the pieces aren't ready for several days after they're painted.
I'm so excited about Christmas...I hope your preparations are going great!