Friday, December 11, 2015

Inside the Studio with Michelle from Firefly Design Studio and the 3rd Day of Christmas

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

This week's winner is #11 - thecolorofdreams
Congratulations!  You have won a wonderful holiday surprise package from Julie from Uglibeads.  Please contact Julie to claim your prize!

This week my ceramic studio is all about holiday ornaments.  If you hopped around the ABS Ornament Blog Hop Party, you saw my lace impressed Joy ornament for a gift exchange coming up with a group of my friends.  This is what I made for them:

You can make these for your family and friends with most kinds of clay.  Air dry and polymer clay would work nicely, too, if you aren't set up to do ceramics.  Here are my supplies:

The lace doily was crocheted by my Grandma many years ago.  She passed away when I was 13 so it is a wonderful way to honor her memory.  Any piece of lace would work.  I chose the word JOY and a 2" cookie cutter.  I made the hole at the top with a wood skewer.  I smoothed out the clay and did this:

After it was fired once into bisque, I used a bright lime green under glaze (take a sponge and wipe the top so the glaze stays in the lace and letters only) and a shiny top coat (the green fires clear). I wanted the surface to have a bit of sparkle, so I sprayed a light coat of glitter spray on top. 

I used 20g silver wire to make the hanger.  I made the curve around a jar of paint.  I used my needle nose pliers to make the spiral loops.  My evergreen and lime lampwork bead (artist unknown) and silver spacers complete the ornament.

The next project I tackled was making my granddaughter Summer's first Christmas ornament. I made a mold with her hand, pressed the clay into it, and used an exact knife to cut the shape. Here they are fired into bisque and I used a pencil to sketch out the design (it burns off during firing).

I used Duncan under glazes to paint in the details:

Lastly I coated them with the green shiny top coat and put them in the kiln.  Here they are finished.  I made 10 of them for our family and close friends.  I wrote her name and 2015 on the back.  The gold wire hangers with red beads are from Hobby Lobby:

So my question for you this week, is how do you bring history (like my Grandma's doily) or create new memories (like Summer's hand print) into your designs?  A winner will be drawn from the comments section and that lucky person will win the lime green JOY ornament. Thank you for joining me in my studio and I hope you decide to make some hand made ornaments this year, too!


thecolorofdreams said...

I love love love your hand print ornaments. They are adorable and I am sure that everyone will love them.
I am so excited that I won the surprise pack from Julie. Thank you and everyone that makes the ABS such a wonderful and interesting blog.

Mary @ said...

I love your ornaments. In my studio, I have family and childhood mementos all around me including the picture my grandparents received as a wedding gift. I feel the love and warmth of a lifetime. How could I not be inspired?

Kristen said...

I have a Nativity scene that was part of my family's Christmases for as long as I remember. My father made the stable by hand and the figures were made in the 40's or 50's. I treasure it!

Deb said...

I love those hand print ornaments! What a great idea to preserve the memories of the kids being little. I have many old ornaments on the tree that remind me of my relatives and a collection of my husband's childhood Christmas elves I refer to as "the creepy Christmas collection"!

Pat Denning said...

The handprint ornaments are adorable! And, the JOY ornaments are so simple, but say so much.

Kristen Stevens said...

I cross stitch a few new ornaments each year. It is so funny that as I am stitching I think of the year we have had and in doing that every Christmas I can remember the years with each ornament.