Art has various forms and sculpturing is one of them. Making statuettes and idols from clay is very common phenomena but making a Christmas tree out of clay is really strange and yet so true. Making a Ceramic Christmas tree takes 10 to 14 days. So, what better time to make your ceramic Christmas tree than the period of advent!
Directions for making a ceramic Christmas tree (By Barbara):
- Pour the slip (liquid clay) into the casting molds. There are three molds. One for the base, one for the tree and one for the extra branch on the large tree. After about 45 minutes, pour the excess slip out to the mold.
- Let the slip sit in the molds for about 6 to 8 hours so the set up. Remove the tree from the molds and punch the holes for the light bulbs. Let the unmolded pieces (green ware) dry overnight.
- Clean the seams from the green ware. Join the top part of the tree the bottom branch and let the tree dry for 2 to 3 days.
- Place the pieces in the kiln (oven) and fire to cone 04(2000 degrees). This takes 3 to 4 hours to heat to that temperature. The kiln then must cool overnight before it can be opened.
- Paint undercoat on entire piece and rub off some paint to give the tree highlights.
- The tree is now fired again to come 05 (1900 degrees) and cooled overnight before the kiln can be opened.
- The entire tree is painted with tree coats of clear glaze paint, drying between each coat of paint. The tips of the branches are painted with "snow" paint.
- The tree is again placed in the kiln; this time on stilts of the glaze doesn't harden on the self of the kiln. It is fired again at come 05, taking 3 to 4 hours to heat up and over night to cool.
- The tree is now complete and ready for wiring and bulbs.