Sunday 29 November 2015

Our Advent Wreath

Here is our Advent wreath I made with my son. This year we used my porcelain stars ornaments to decorate it. Even though we are not that religious we like to introduce our son to the tradition of lightning a candle for the four Sundays before Christmas.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

It Is Not Too Early To Think About Christmas

I guess that some of you may feel a bit irritated to read about Christmas in the middle of November. Most of the stores are already decorated and ready for the shopping frenzy. You can by Christmas cookies everywhere. Santa is coming, snow is falling and bells are jingling. Well, at least until you come out of the store and find yourself surrounded by the perfect sunny and vibrant November day. And if you were wearing only a T-shirt while going out for a walk, as I did the other day, you may be convinced that the world is going really crazy with this festivity pressure.

I have to admit that I am in the middle of Christmas production frenzy since August. Considering that I am still not a full time potter, I may be a bit late already. Making ceramics is a slow process. There is a lot of waiting involved. When you make something you have to wait patiently until the ceramics dries (and you should let it dry slowly to prevent cracking). 

Only then can you bisque fire it. Then you wait for two days until your kiln cools down so that you can open it. After glazing you fire it again. And wait for two more days to open the kiln again. This is only a rough description of the process. In between you have to catch the right consistency of the vessel to be able to decorate it.

I started to make these elegant and minimalistic porcelain pendants in August. Just to mention that these went through my hands about eight times. First I have to roll the porcelain slab really thin and take care not to capture any air bubble. Using different cookie cutters I can cut out the desired shape – one by one. The hole for the cord has to be done while the porcelain is still very soft. Now, you let your stars and angels dry a bit so that you can soften the edges with a sponge and take care that the hole is nicely smoothed.

At this point I can let them dry completely but I have to take care that they do not deform as the edges dry faster. To avoid it I put some weight on them while drying. After the bisque firing, the ornaments get sanded until the surface is smooth. I have to rinse them after the sanding and letting them dry again. Afterwards I can fire them really high to get that translucency that is so typical for porcelain. I take them out of the kiln, one by one and check for any cracks or damages. Now I can pull the cord through the hole so that it can joyfully swing on the Christmas tree.  

Now you may understand why it's necessary to start your Christmas production early. These ornaments are not glazed because I like the mate surface a lot. Also I wanted to keep them more affordable by skipping the glazing process.

If you like them, you can purchase them directly from my studio. Also you can send me an email ( if you are not from the area – I gladly ship worldwide. The price for one piece is 5 CHF (5 Swiss Francs) + Shipping (2 CHF for Switzerland; 2.5 CHF for Europe and 3 CHF for other countries).

So, finally I can say that it is not too early to think about Christmas even if it is November and if you like these Christmas tree ornaments – get them while they’re hot from the kiln.