I wanted to make some clay ornaments for holiday shows. I wanted something more organic then a cookie cutter would make. I like the way the tortilla press makes mostly round shapes that are similar but not identical.
Materials: tortilla press, clay, straw, sponge, needle tools, brushes, underglaze, glaze
1.) Roll a ball of clay about the size of a golf ball. Place it in the center of the tortilla press and press down. Rotate the clay if needed and press again.
2.) Let the clay sit until it's almost leather hard. Use a straw to cut a hole in the top and a sponge to clean up the edges.
3.) Once the ornament is leather hard, use a needle tool to draw into the surface of the clay. I don't draw very deeply, just enough to scratch the surface.
4.) Use a brush to clean up the clay crumbs.
5.) Paint oxide washes and underglaze into the drawings. Let it dry. I've been liking these synthetic nylon brushes by The Art Chest. It's a set of 9 brushes sizes 0-16. They work well for mishima because they don't shed and have tapered bristles. They are inexpensive enough (about $3 per brush) but still decent quality. (I received these brushes at a discount in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.)
6.) Using a damp sponge, wipe the ornament until the underglaze is only in the drawing. Keep cleaning the sponge off in between swipes.