Saturday, December 25, 2021

Chinese Dragon


I've had good years and okay years with ornaments.  This year was a very good year.  Be prepared for a lot of photos.

When I made the Chinese man last year I was inspired to make a dragon, too.  I had a picture of what I wanted to make; creating it was a bit more complicated. 

I love how Chinese dragons are so long and sinewy, all twisty.  I wanted to capture that.  I've seen some holding a ball, so I wanted to do that, too. 

I built the body, the arms and the head separately, then put them together.  I got close to how I wanted it to look, but then things got complicated.  It was too thin to support itself while being baked; the clay softens before it cures.  Wow, this one required a lot more that propping - it needed scaffolding!


It took probably as much time building the props than it did to make the dragon.  As I struggled with that, Rob suggested that I build the body around a wire frame.  I wish I had thought of that in the first place!  (Think I'll remember next time?  Probably not.)

Wire frame would have allowed me to pose the dragon exactly how I wanted, but I got this pretty close. 


It wasn't until I started writing this post that I realized I forgot to add in the horns!  Dang!  But at this point he already has so many little breakable points, it's just as well I didn't add more.  

I painted his nails and added a little gold wash to the scales down the back.  


This isn't my first attempt at a Chinese-themed ornament.  I first made a Chinese man with a dragon wrapped around him back in 2009.  This was the design I had in mind when I started last year's ornament.  I think I am happier having created two different ornaments than one complex one.  

Now I need to start thinking what to make for next Christmas.  How am I going to top this?

Sharing with:
Wendy's Quilts and More - Peacock Party


  1. Yes indeed, how on earth are you going to top your amazing dragon??!! It is fabulous, Sally! Goodness me you are brilliant with clay. So much intricate details. I smiled at the thought of your wee dragon needing scaffolding....who would've thought? I remember your Chinese man from before; he too is amazing. As for how you will make something even more fabulous than your have about 11 months to think about it. =) Hope you enjoy a wonderful Christmas, Sally.

  2. Isn't that dragon neat?! So great how you stuck with your design idea until you got what you wanted. I bet your recipient loves him!

  3. I love seeing your ornaments. They are so fabulous.

  4. I so loved this post where you shared your process of making this beautiful and unique ornament!


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