Workshop Wednesday: Make A Porcelain Christmas Decoration

24 November 2010

FinishedOr, about as close as you might be able to get to making your own porcelain! But this stuff is a lot hardier, as I found out when I dropped my son's precious ornament on our (not-carpeted) floor. Making this stuff is a lot harder than making salt dough, and I probably shouldn't have tried it as a novice 'crafty mum'. But it is also one of those crafts that, the more you do it, the better you'll get.

Just to fill you in a little bit, my son has a physical problem that makes it very hard for him to do anything with his fingers. He's always avoided doing things like colouring in or painting. It is something that can be easy to miss because you think, well my child's not artistic, or doesn't have an interest in art. But when they can't write either it becomes more of a concern. I'm not at all a crafty person, in fact I am pretty useless at it. But as part of my son's therapy, we have started to do crafts at home. So hopefully, you'll get to learn from my mistakes!

equipmentWhat I've discovered is that far from having no artistic interest, he absolutely loves it. The problem was that before, he just couldn't do it. Now he can and it makes a huge difference! In fact I'm beginning to wonder just where he gets his eye for design from as it is remarkably well co-ordinated and neither of his parents have an eye for colour.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about having a Crafty Christmas. In there I came across a site by Earthenwitch, and I loved the cornflour clay ornaments she made. I used her recipe but unfortunately she hadn't said how to put the dough together. No matter, I figured you just mixed it up right? No, not right. Not at all. The result was a horror of a bizarre compound that hardened almost straight away but turned into a liquid as soon as came into contact with the air. So what you got was a hard-as-wood bit underneath and gloopy stuff on top!Actually, as far as a science lesson goes, this was a pretty good one.First attempt You can see that first attempt pictured on the right!

If you're going to have a go at making cornflour clay, I would recommend following this recipe here. One change I might try next time though is that Earthenwitch used essential oils in her recipe. This stuff has a rather unpleasant odour when it is cooking.

After our first attempt, I waited until the boy had gone to bed to try again. This isn't really the sort of dough that you can make with a small child. He had asked for a diamond so that's what I made him.

On Sunday he decided he wanted it to glitter like an icicle. So we got the PVA glue out, and the glitter. I was suprised at the colours he mixed together. A little bit of blues and purples in there along with the silver actually did make it look more like an icicle than just silver!

Painting on glueI have to say that this was one of the scarier crafts I've tried. I didn't quite get the same polished white porcelain effect that Earthenwitch did, but I think I had my oven set at too high a temperature. As suggested in the recipe, the rest of the mixture I made is stored in an air tight container so I think we'll have another go this weekend. He wants to make a Christmas star next!

What do you think?

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