How to Make an Ornament

Today I’m happy to share a simple overview of the process I use to make my ornaments.  I hope you’ll enjoy and be inspired to create something of your own!

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The body of the ornament is made of clear borosilicate glass tube.  Heating the tube evenly in the torch’s flame, I’m able to begin establishing the size of the ornament.

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I add color to the piece with thin rods of glass.  The tip of the rod is heated to the desired consistency, and from there I’m able to “draw” stripes onto the clear tube body.

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The next step is to blow air into the tube to create the round body and the crown.  This is done in small increments, working quickly to keep the shape even.

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Using the same sort of rod used on the stripes, I add beads of glass around the crown.  On some designs, I use color to match the stripes, but here, I’m using clear rod for a subtle sparkle.

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I melt down the excess glass on the top of the ornament, forming a solid rod from it.  From this rod, I form the loop.

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Finally, I press my maker’s mark into the loop, and stretch and clip the excess glass from the bottom of the ornament.

I leave the rod attached on top to indicate the ornament has not yet been annealed.  You can see a slew of ornaments stored upside down on their rods in the background of that last picture.  Once I have several pieces prepared, they go into the annealing oven.  The process strengthens the glass and enhances the color for the finished product.

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Each design, of course, has its own specific process, but this is the basic course each piece takes.  In this post, I’ve shown you the “Elf” design, which you can find in the Etsy shop.

Happy making!

How ToJim Byrnes