How to Make Clay Ball Ornaments
Jamie makes incredible ceramic pieces. Many of her pieces have coiled pieces of clay in them. In this segment, she makes a clay ornament ball that can be used for the holidays or any special occasion. Follow these steps to make your own.
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Materials and Tools:
white earthenware clay
hand held extruder
type from printing press and found objects used as stamps
1. Roll out/throw a small slab. Trace a circle on the slab (using the plastic lid to a cream cheese container) and cut it out.
2. Drape the slab over a racquetball. Use your hands to press the clay tightly against the ball, and use a metal rib to smooth the surface. Once it is has been pressed down, the edge comes past the middle of the ball, so cut off the excess with a needle tool. Wiggle the ball out of the clay half-sphere and set it aside to harden to a nearly leather-hard state.
3. Join two of the halves together to make a sphere, smoothing the seam with a small coil. Allow to dry enough to handle without squishing.
4. Add a small button of clay to the top by slipping and scoring: Extrude five dime-sized coils. Score and slip the outside of the "button" and press on the coils.
5. Roll up several small balls and press them in the seams to cover the joints. Emboss these balls with a small letter "o" stamp.
6. Press a hole through the entire ornament with a chopstick.
7. Emboss the ornament with the type letters and stamps around the top and bottom. Allow it to dry.
8. Load the ornament into the kiln, fire to bisque and unload.
9. Stain the ornament with a brush or sponge and wipe off the excess stain. Allow it to dry. Glaze and fire again to a lower temperature.
10. Thread a homemade wire tool through the ball to pull through a ribbon.
11. Add a vintage button (an actual plastic button) to the top and bottom to keep the ribbon from slipping through.
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