I’ve been an avid artist and crafter for a number of years now, using different media, but in the last year or so I’ve turned to making ornaments with homemade clay. It’s taken me a little time to perfect my recipe and process, but when I finally came up with something that was just right, I was hooked. You may be wondering why I chose to make my ornaments out of clay. Well, let me share four reasons why I prefer to use this versatile medium.
Reason #1: Handmade Clay Means No Supply Chain Issues
Before I started making my own clay ornaments, I was creating a lot of print-on-demand products. Among those products were ornaments. The process required me to send my designs to a manufacturer who would then print them on ornament blanks and ship them to my customers. It worked well until one Christmas season, during which I was offering ceramic ornaments. I had two different suppliers lined up to take orders, and both suddenly run out of stock at the height of the shopping season. Talk about a major headache! I was so frustrated and stressed out. There was nothing I could do but take the items out of my shop.
At that moment I decided that I needed to do something different. I simply could not leave my customers in the lurch like that again. That is when I started to look around for recipes to make my own ornament blanks and to experiment with ways to put my designs on them. I found some great recipes online and began to test them and tweak them until I found the right combination. After perfecting the thickness and drying processes, I felt confident that I could deliver a quality clay ornament to my customers. No more running out of stock at a critical moment!
Reason #2: Handmade Clay is Safe
I have young children at home, so it is important for me to use materials that don’t pose a threat to them. They are curious and love to check out whatever mommy is doing. The ingredients I use for my clay are not only safe to cook in my kitchen, but my kids can also play with them and make their own clay creations. I like to joke that they could eat it if they wanted to, but it wouldn’t taste very good!
Another safety bonus is that in the very unfortunate instance that an ornament drops and breaks, I don’t have to worry about shards of glass all over the floor or rugs. If there’s one thing I hate is the tedious process of cleaning up broken glass. The worst that could happen with clay ornaments is that the broken pieces get stepped on and ground into powder. It’s something that a vacuum cleaner or broom could take care of in a few seconds. While I certainly don't want this to happen to any ornament I make, it is nice to know that it won't be causing a hazard to anyone if it does.
Reason #3: Handmade Clay Makes Customization Easier
This has been the most exciting reason for me to use handmade clay! Although custom shapes and images were available through print-on-demand, I found that making my own ornaments opened up so many more options. I could make shapes and designs that the print-on-demand companies simply could not offer. Also by making the ornaments myself, I cut down on processing times. That means my customers could get their ornaments much faster! Who doesn't love that? Adding custom text and hand lettering also became much easier. It is thrilling to be able to create truly unique pieces for my customers. The possibilities are endless!
Reason #4: Handmade Clay Means It's Made in America
It can be difficult to determine where products are sourced from when it comes to ornaments. Many ornaments are made overseas and then shipped here to the United States. I found this to be the case with some of the print-on-demand companies I worked with. It is important to me to support our local economy, and I have learned that it is important to many of my customers as well. So my final reason for using handmade clay to make ornaments is that I can say with all confidence that they are 100% made in the USA. When you purchase an from Grand Story Ornaments, you are supporting an American business.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about why I love making ornaments with handmade clay. They are so much fun to make, and the possibilities are truly endless. You can use them to create one-of-a-kind gifts, personal Christmas decorations, ornaments for your tree, and so much more. I enjoy being able to customize my ornaments to make them truly one-of-a-kind. I love the opportunity it has given me to be creative and to connect with my customers. I also love that I don’t have to run out of stock at the most inconvenient times. I will be adding new designs and ornaments to my collection all year long, so I hope you will stop by my shop often and have a look.