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Porcelain ornaments you roll, cut, paint.

Porcelain ornaments you roll, cut, paint

Soft blue lines against the light gray color of the clay give these handmade ornaments the look of delftware pottery from Holland. But you can easily make them at home--just take them to a ceramics shop for firing.

You cut simple shapes from thin-rolled clay. Use a cooky cutter or create your own design pattern and cut around it with a craft knife. You'll need cone-6 porcelain clay (about $9 for a 25-lb. bag), clear glaze ($1 for a 4-oz. bottle), a colored underglaze pencil for ceramic work ($1.50), a rolling pin, a 24-inch square of canvas, a flat brush, and a clay-cutting tool or craft knife.

Spread the canvas out on a work surface. Take a lump of clay about the size of a tennis ball, throw it hard onto the canvas three or four times to remove air bubbles, and roll it flat to about 1/8 inch thick. You'll find you can roll the clay thinner if you lift it off the canvas periodically.

Cut shapes, peeling away excess from edges. With a toothpick or the tip of the cutting tool, make a 1/8-inch hole in each ornament for hanging.

Put the clay shapes on a sheet of newspaper and cover them with a towel so the top sides will not dry to quickly. Turn them over twice a day for several days until they're hard to the touch.

To rent kiln space, check your community center or look in the yellow pages under Ceramic Equipment and Supplies. You'll need to arrange two firings--the second one after the ornaments have been glazed. Each firing should cost about 50 cents per ornament.

Photo: 1 Roll clay to 1/8 inch thick. Use a cooky cutter or cut around paper pattern with ceramics tool or craft knife

Photo: 2 After first firing, draw features and clothes with underglaze pencil. We used blue; other colors are available

Photo: 3 Coat top of ornament with clear glaze. Avoid getting it on sides or in hanging hole. Next comes second firing

Photo: Hand-drawn detailing on fired clay ornaments was done with underglaze pencil. A clear glaze gives them a glossy, washable surface
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1984
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