Well... Here goes!
I am lucky enough to have a slab roller to help me roll out my clay to an even width. If you don't have a slab roller, a rolling pin and boards of varying thicknesses can be used. You will also need a rib (wooden or metal, whichever you prefer), cutters (I use cookie cutters), stamps, underglaze pen for details, and the clay, of course. If using stoneware, a kiln is also required. Ribbon or yarn is needed if you intend on making the favor an ornament (like I have).
I roll the clay out to just over 1/8". After the clay is rolled out, I carefully take it off the canvas and move it to a wood slab to dry out a little more. For me, I like the clay a little drier consistency, not overly moist. I don't have non-textured canvas, so as the slab is rolled out, I use my rib to smooth out the texture left over from the canvas of the slab roller.
After I have smoothed/compressed both sides with my rib, I use my cookie cutters to cut out the shape of the item I am making. For this project, I am using a 3" round biscuit/cookie cutter. HOWEVER, there is a lot of empty space after the favor/ornament shapes have been cut.
So I use a variety of cutters to use up that negative space. I save them in air tight bags/containers to use later in future projects. Here, I've used a small light bulb cutter... Need to start working on this year's Christmas ornaments.. :)
After the shapes are all cut out, it's time to clear up the scrap clay, and get the shapes over to my work table!
At this point, it's time to start with the design layout of the ornament. Rubber stamps make it MUCH easier to ensure the crispness of the lettering and shapes. For our wedding favor ornament, we have chosen the outline of the state of Maine with both of our first initials inside the state. Around the outside is the slogan "The Way Life Should Be", because again, our relationship is amazing! :) On the bottom, I've used the white underglaze pen to hand write our wedding date. For the state of Maine stamp, I linked up with Mei of Etchythings. She makes some AMAZING stamps, and is my go to person for all custom rubber stamps! (You can find her on Facebook and Etsy. Click HERE to go to her Etsy store if you need a custom stamp made. She can etch the rubber deeply so they work very well with stoneware/porcelain/earthenware).
And here is a picture where you can see all the stages! From start to finish. It's not quick by any means... but VERY rewarding. I really LOVE being able to say I made all of our wedding favors.
Are you getting married any time soon? Do you want original, one of a kind favors for your guests? Ornaments, small trinket plates, magnets...garden stakes, spoons...The sky is the limit! Contact me here, EMAIL me, or find me on Facebook so we can get the ball rolling to make your wedding spectacular!!!
(I have an Etsy store as well... but it's on vacation currently because of MY wedding on 10 August 2013!! Keep an eye out to see when it comes back online!)