Christmas orders have been keepin’ me busy, busy, this last month, and delayed progress on my other crafting projects. Every year I tell myself I’m going to get a jump on things and get started in August, but, yeah, it never seems to work out that way. I guess maybe I’m just not disciplined enough to do it.
But, wanting to share something in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d show how I make my snowman ornament. This little guy was my first ornament design. He’s been a good seller for me and I still offer him today. I know there’s not much time before Christmas, but he’s pretty simple to make. Please feel free to make him for gifts for your family or friends. He is my original design, so I do ask that you do not make him for sale or profit, Thank You.
I had a client request a few snowmen in purple, so you’ll see the purple colors in this post, but, I’ve used a variety of colors as you can see in the feature picture. I use Spectrum System 96 colors and a COE96 Uroboros 602502 red.
I like to get all my little embellishment pieces out of the way, so before I start ornaments, I make a batch of holly, carrot noses, and berries.
After using my pattern pieces to cut my glass –
there’s three steps I’m mindful of as I shape and grind –
#1 – I lay the hat brace on the backside of the hat piece to make sure it mimics the top shape of the hat, and will fit neatly behind it.
#2 – Make sure the hatband fits nicely about 1/8″ up from the bottom edge of the hat.
#3 – Shape the top curve of the hat brim to match the bottom curve of the hatband.
Clean glass pieces thoroughly. Bend a short length of 17 gauge high temp wire to form a loop. Glue it in place, in the center of the hat brace, propped on a small piece of kiln fiber, let dry. I always use kiln shelf paper for my ornaments, but, to each their own..
While you have the glue out, glue the hatband on the hat and the end on the scarf. Prop the scarf end with a scrap of glass until its dry.
Once everything is dry, brush a little fusers glue along the bottom edge of the hat brace, and carefully lay the hat piece over it, covering it completely. The hat will meld over it so its not seen after firing. Let glue dry well before brushing a little glue on the bottom edge of the hat, and laying the head in place, slightly overlapping. Let glue dry.
Brush small line of glue along bottom edge of head, and lay the scarf in place, slightly overlapping, at neck. Let dry. Place hat brim on the shelf, separately, to fire.
I use a small tabletop kiln to fire my ornaments. I start on medium, with the lid open a bit, until the temp reaches 1000 and the kiln paper is done burning, then close the lid and turn it to high. I like a sharp clean look, so I watch closely through the kiln lid window when the temp gets to around 1600 degrees, and shut the kiln off quickly once the glass edges have rounded smoothly .. most often at 1650 – 1700 degrees. After unplugging the kiln, flash vent to 1100 degrees, and shut the lid until the kiln is at room temp.
After completely cooled, glue the hat brim on with E6000. I always prop the hat brim and/or lay the rubber ends of my small pliers across it to hold in place until dry. Use a toothpick to help glue on nose, holly, and the berry. To add the glass seed bead eyes, squirt a small amount of glue on waxed paper. Hold the bead with tweezers, touch it in the glue, then put it on the glass. Let glue dry. Clean away any unwanted glue, that is showing, with a craft knife or small ceramic tool.
Hope you have fun with him! Please contact me if you have any questions. I’d love to see what you create if you’re willing to share!