Maddie, one of our amazing volunteers at GTHS, owns the infamous Leishman’s pottery with her mom and grandparents. Maddie volunteers at GTHS with a family friend and loves spending time at the Shelter. This year, she had our cats and dogs in mind and decided that she would make animal Christmas ornaments as a fundraiser for GTHS!
Maddie has been working hard to stamp, paint and glaze all of the ornaments that will be on sale in early December. We were so intrigued by the process that we wanted to share with all of you!
Here’s Maddie’s mom, Ivy, describing the steps it takes to make these beautiful pieces:
First, the girls (Maddie and her friend Tabitha) started with a large piece of wedged clay. We used all reclaimed clay for flat pieces and they flattened the clay with my 40 year old slab roller. It’s important to get all the air bubbles out and make sure the clay is smooth.
Once done, I transfered the clay to another table where Maddie cut out the ornaments with a template, and then stamped the ornaments.
The stamps come from Maddie’s original artwork. We sent her drawings to a stamp company in London, and it comes back to us as a metal stamp.
After giving the clay some time to dry, the girls stamped the back of each ornament and poked the holes in the top. Each piece was placed on drywall, and flattened with another board on top. The pieces are left for a couple of days to let the ornaments dry flat.
Following this was the most time consuming work. Each ornament was cleaned by sanding the edges, so there were no sharp edges. Then the pieces were put into the kiln for the first firing. After the pieces were fired once, they were hand painted using a type of black glaze (which we make ourselves). The images are waxed before the glaze to keep the glaze from sticking on the image. Each ornament was then dipped twice into either our white or green glazes. Once dry, they went into the last kiln for a final firing…and voila, 24 hours with the last firing and we have the finished product!
We would like to give a BIG thank you to Maddie and everybody that lent a hand in the making of these gorgeous ornaments! The ornaments will be on sale in early December at Leishman’s Pottery in Stayner (www.leishmanpottery.com) and the GTHS Shelter. They will be $10 each and all proceeds go to support the GTHS Animal Shelter.
GET YOURS EARLY! LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE!