Holiday Shoebox: Clay Ornaments

These clay ornaments make a great decoration for your Christmas tree.

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Some very beautiful polymer clay ornaments almost literally flew out of the Holiday Shoebox today, having been sent on their way by viewer Jack Schwend of Oxford, Ala.

The flying elves were unlike anything any of us had seen before, and we were entranced. Between Jack's letter and our phone conversation, we learned that he started making these ornaments when he was in the service stationed in Germany and happened across some polymer clay in a hardware store. He taught himself how to use the medium and was inspired to try to replicate some of the flying elf ornaments that he remembered his mother collecting back in the '50s. "Practice, practice, practice" seems to be his motto. Jack did not tell us that, but looking at his finished pieces makes you realize that he didn't just suddenly develop these highly detailed and unusual-looking creatures. In addition to having developed the talent to make these wonderful pieces, he bakes them a total of 20 times and gives them an incredible high-gloss finish by dipping them at least seven times in a water-based floor sealant...the kind used on wood floors! In addition to making these as gifts for family and friends, Jack sells his elves on E-bay.

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