Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. 

Christmas production is sizzling hot for all of us right now. Wanted to make a few ornaments to stuff my kiln for these fall shows. Any good ideas for sellers that you can make with cookie cutters? Thanks in advance!

Edited by BlackDogPottery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago, I did sets of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" used cookie cutters on thin 1/4" slabs, with very detailed cookie cutter set that I only had to add a hanging hole. These were then stained, fired, and a bright red bow with hanger was added to finish them. Went over real well as gifts to the secretarial staff at the HS I taught at.

 

 

best,

Pres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick tip when using cookie cutters ... put a sheet of dry cleaner plastic on the clay slab and then cut the shapes through it. This makes sure your clay doesn't stick to the cutter and smoothes the edges of the ornaments so you don't have to clean them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Chris Campbell said:

A quick tip when using cookie cutters ... put a sheet of dry cleaner plastic on the clay slab and then cut the shapes through it. This makes sure your clay doesn't stick to the cutter and smoothes the edges of the ornaments so you don't have to clean them.

BRILLIANT!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Say what......4K? A year? Nope-not happenin' here.  No shows, either...but best wishes with them!    So happy to be a hobbyist of low volume/production and all the time in the world to go at my own pace, as long as I meet the delivery deadline. I am using some  classic holiday shapes to make a selection of stock for a local NH gift shop (a first), which pleases me to no end.  The more unique the clay/glaze,  form or pattern the better, but the standard classics (reindeer, bird, tree, holly, star, stuff from non-Christian cultures, Old World look, etc.) seem to fly out the door. 

D.M.Ernst likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BlackDogPottery said:

Holy cow.  How much clay does it take to touch 4,000 ornaments?

Lots!  I loved being part of so many Holiday and family traditions ...  people would start asking in June what the ornament would be this year ... I learned so much about colored clay, pattern making, production, time management, glazes, marketing ... would not trade that experience for anything.

 This of course was in the olden days before inexpensive imported ornaments.  The year before imports I sold over 5,000 ... the year after imports I got orders for about 600 ... the next year under 50.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

Lots!  I loved being part of so many Holiday and family traditions ...  people would start asking in June what the ornament would be this year ... I learned so much about colored clay, pattern making, production, time management, glazes, marketing ... would not trade that experience for anything.

 This of course was in the olden days before inexpensive imported ornaments.  The year before imports I sold over 5,000 ... the year after imports I got orders for about 600 ... the next year under 50.

Isn't that the way things go. I think I read somewhere that's what happened to the Lucie Rie pottery buttons. Extremely in demand and growing but slowly died as war regulations were lifted and outside goods could be imported to England.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree ... it's a cycle I caught the end of ... I do not blame Galleries for opting into healthier profit margins and I can't blame people for choosing flashier ornaments. I am happy to hear that folks are still buying hand made ones somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

I agree ... it's a cycle I caught the end of ... I do not blame Galleries for opting into healthier profit margins and I can't blame people for choosing flashier ornaments. I am happy to hear that folks are still buying hand made ones somewhere.

I live in a rural area with winter and summer vacationers. I had a store in which everything was Made in America. It did really well!! I had to close it because i needed to pay someone to be there as I teach, and my best friend stole tens of thousand dollars from me, so I felt that I couldn't trust anyone, but if people did this and advertised it as such, it would do well in many places.

If i do this again, Im going to call it Made In America Only or No Made In China Crap! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

China does not have the corner on cheap labor or mass production .... and the ornaments were not crap. If you needed to buy ten or twelve for co-workers or family, they were a good deal. Most were fairly well made.

If a Gallery owner could mark them up 200% and still come in under my wholesale price, that is their bills paid and the shop stays open. Most of my Galleries were 'Mom & Pop' level ... some had even mortgaged their homes to stay open. They did what the customers dictated, what they had to do. I have no problem with that.

Rae Reich and pritchpat like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have made ornaments for personal use on small trees.  I use a white clay and made ornaments that look like old fashion candies and peppermints you see around Christmas.  I made a stamp the would put the design in relief and then fill the low areas with  brightly colored under glazes.  I left the rest unglazed so they would be easy to fire, they had a stained glass appearance to them.   I also made a decorative cross ornaments with this method.    Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chris Campbell said:

China does not have the corner on cheap labor or mass production .... and the ornaments were not crap. If you needed to buy ten or twelve for co-workers or family, they were a good deal. Most were fairly well made.

If a Gallery owner could mark them up 200% and still come in under my wholesale price, that is their bills paid and the shop stays open. Most of my Galleries were 'Mom & Pop' level ... some had even mortgaged their homes to stay open. They did what the customers dictated, what they had to do. I have no problem with that.

I was just sharing my experience.  And kind of tongue in cheek about the shop name. I'll just slink away now. 

Rae Reich likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nancylee ... no need to slink away! ... so sorry if I came across wrong ... did not mean to offend. :(

I think it is important to look at market trends and make the best decisions I can from what is happening. Imports as such were not my problem ...  people no longer buying  my product because they did not see the value in paying more was the key. Face to face I could still sell them but that was not enough volume to make my efforts worthwhile ... it was extremely labor intensive.

I think that the tide is somewhat turning in that people ( with enough income ) are returning to handmade and putting value on a face to face experience.

Edited by Chris Campbell
clay lover and nancylee like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the end of a session I'll often pull out some cutters and make leaves. I use both plastic cookie cutters and some metal ones I made myself. Most are intended to be ornaments but lately I've been making brush rests out of the wider/flatter shapes. So far I've just glazed them in subtle browns and yellow ochre but mean to do some fall colors over dark clay. They're intended for the 'naturalistic' decorating crowd I guess. So far haven't tried to sell any as I haven't built up a supply. 

...anyway there is an old in progress photo of some leaves sitting on a board in my gallery. 

...why is posting a photo here always so hard! >:(

 

 

Edited by yappystudent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made gingerbread boys and girls with toasty brown clay with white slip piping. The big cutters make too-heavy ornaments, so go for about 2". I have used half of a rocking horse mold as a press mold, also a locomotive and a teddy bear.  All of these look cute pressed onto the sides of matching mugs. And they don't require red glaze!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2017 at 10:28 AM, DirtRoads said:

59f4bd2b2a995_New2014007(300x278).jpg.0308ea0d9ca18a39bbecd59240e9a75f.jpg

State shape is a great seller.    I have about 10 styles of cross ornaments, which are also great sellers.   May not sell that well outside the Bible belt ... not really sure.

New2014 026 (300x225).jpg

Yes. Over the past few shows where I had ornaments the states sold extremely well. I did have some crosses but surprisingly they didn't sell too well, but it could have been my style or color. I'm in Texas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×