Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments


Here’s an easy idea for a Christmas ornament that people will love.  Make a photo transfer using the method of your choice.  The above pictures were digital images loaded onto a computer and reversed.  Then I played with the software to get rid of distracting backgrounds.  After making  and baking my transfer, I mounted it on green clay or gold  rolled to the thickest setting.  I used my wavy blade and needle tool to make holly leaves and berries.  You could also use a leaf cookie cutter.  On the ornament of Max the dog, I cut a bone out of bone colored clay and scribed his name in with a needle tool.  After baking, I rubbed in brown ochre paint and wiped it off.   I drilled holes at the top of the ornaments and used 16 gauge copper wire with wrapped loops for the hangers.  On two of the ornaments, I  drilled a hole in the bottom and looped store bought tassels through.

People who have a new baby in the house love these ornaments.   Here is an example, made in a slightly different way, but you can get the idea by looking at the picture.


For more information on polymer clay photo transfers,  check out the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild’s blog, The PAPCG Reporter, Dotty McMillan’s instructions, and Donna Kato’s blog.

Virgil Fox, Bach, and the Wanamaker Organ

The above video is an interview of Virgil Fox, and a film of him playing the pipe organ at Wanamaker’s Department Store in Philadelphia.   Click the arrow in the lower left hand  of the You Tube box to view it. 

The organ is still there in the Wanamaker building, although the store is now a Macy’s.  If you are in  Center city Philadelphia,  stop by to see the organ sitting overhead in the store’s Grand Court.  They still play it on a daily basis.

I first heard Virgil Fox’s Album, Heavy Organ, Live at the Fillmore East” when I was around 15.  It was an experience I’ll never forget.   A few weeks ago, my brother mentioned listening to Fox on You Tube and I started jonesing for  for Heavy Organ.  Before he got into the music at that concert,  Fox told the audience,   “I believe that Sebastian Bach is delighted that you are here. Bach and Shakespeare have felt everything. This man Bach is, as history goes on,  proving to to be one of the great inspirations for our inheritance.  All we have to do is open our pores and let him in.”  Fox played though 144 speakers at that concert.  He really knew how to put on a show.

Do yourself a favor and let in Johan Sebastian Bach and Virgil Fox.  Listen to Heavy Organ in streaming audio, by clicking   Here.  You’ll have to create an account at Wolfgang’s Vault, but it’s definitely worth it.  The have a lot of great music including free streaming audio.

To learn more about the Wanamaker organ, press  Here.

Mixing My Media

My latest offering is a necklace  made with my handmade beads  and beads from my stash. I put it together last year, but never liked it.  After rethinking my design, I took it apart, laid it out, and restrung it three times. I think I finally got it right.

I made the lampworked beads from Moretti glass and  etched most of them in acid to get a matte finish. The round  glass bead is hollow. I beaded around wooden beads in peyote stitch using size 11/0 seed beads in harmonizing colors. The long bicone-ish looking beads and some 16mm round beads are polymer clay, made with the Mokume Gane technique, sanded and polished. The natural stones are coral, bone, turquoise, tiger eye, freshwater pearls. red hearts and horn. The findings and Balinese-style spacer beads are vermeil and gold filled. The longest strand of the necklace is about 24 inches. The short part in the back is a counterweight which hangs down the wearer’s back.

To see some more detailed images, press