Several friends have been posting pictures on Facebook of stores who already have their Christmas decorations proudly displayed. It seems like the “let’s decorate” date keeps moving up in time each year. Searches for christmas decorations and ornaments in my Etsy store and on my WordPress blog are also increasing daily.
In the Etsy forums they have started to gear artists up with their annual Holiday Boot Camp encouraging artists to get prepared with their materials for creating, packaging for shipping and so forth. I have also noticed some stores having Christmas in July sales. So one might ponder when is really the right time to start to display your holiday wares?
Of course, I ask this question rhetorically because I honestly don’t know the answer, but what I do know is that if people are searching my blog and my store right now looking for holiday decorations, then now must be the right time for me!
Last year I wrote a blog on making some ornaments and gift tags: https://idlecreativity.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/fused-glass-christmas-ornaments-and-gift-tags/. This year, I made a couple of additional types.
Blue Snowflake Ornament
I started with the Colour de Verre snowflake mold using both clear fine frit and different colors of blue fine fit. In my 8″ kiln, the perfect temperature for firing these snowflakes is 1325 degrees F.
I cut 3 inch circles out of white glass and drilled the hole for the ribbon before firing so that the edges of the hole would have a chance to soften during the kiln firing. When drilling holes, I use either my Dremel drill or a drill press. Bullseye taught me about the perfect bits for drilling holes which are called Triple Ripple Diamond Drills available from HisGlassworks. I used the 2.1mm size which is the same size I use for drilling holes in pendants.
After drilling the hole, I contour the hole by drilling with a Flame tip, 1/8 inch shank sintered diamond bit. This gives the hole a nice sloping edge.
Last I added the snowflakes onto the white circle and fired them together at 1325 degrees to soften the edges of the disk, tack fire the snowflakes to the disk and ensure that I didn’t lose the sparkle of the snowflakes.
I wanted to try to combine wire with glass, so decided to try a simple star or spoke ornament. I also wasn’t sure how stacking 4 pieces of glass would work, so decided to try this one in two separate kiln fires. For the first firing at 1410 degrees F, I made 2 separate crosses and sprinkled one with red fine fit and the other with green fine fit. I was hoping that the center section would fuse flat but that I would not take the kiln so hot that the glass would pull in trying to get to 1/4 inches. (Remember the 1/4″ glass rule? If not, read here.)
Even though the center did not completely fuse flat, I was able to stack one cross on top of the other and then fuse them together again using 1410 degrees F in the kiln. Last I found some great red 20 gauge wire and wrapped it around the glass to make the holder and add some zing! Very fun.
Guess seeing and making decorations really does get you in the holiday spirit. No wonder stores bring the decorations out earlier each year. Let the selling begin!