The Christmas Saguaro ornament is available at MelodyODesigns at Etsy
As a tribute to my adopted home state of Arizona I've designed a new decorated Saguaro Cactus Christmas Ornament made from polymer clay to add to my Southwestern Christmas Ornaments Collection. Saguaros are iconic images that immediately come to mind when one thinks of Arizona. They are native to the warm Sonoran desert and can reach a height of 40-60 inches (12-18 meters). After the rainy season when water is plentiful an adult saguaro can weigh 6 tons or more.
When the saguaro reaches 35 years of age it begins to produce white flowers with yellow centers that attract bees and butterflies and the fruits provide much needed food for birds, jack rabbits, mule dear and many other native animals. The indigenous people of the area used the saguaro for both food and building materials and members of the Tohono O'odham people still gather the fruit today to use in making ceremonial wine, jellies, candy and use the seeds to feed their chickens. Branches normally begin to appear when the saguaro is around 50-70 years old. Their life expectancy is 150-200 years.
|Saguaro at Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona. Photographs courtesy of Sy Brandon|
|Saguaro at Usery Mountain Regional Park, Phoenix, Arizona|
While behind the scenes in Santa's Workshop..........some of the tools and raw materials that were used in making the Christmas Saguaro Ornament:
it is textured with a piercing pin tool to mimic the spines of the cactus.
The white and yellow flowers were painted onto the raw clay with a mixture of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and Genesis heat set oil paint. They were painted using the tip of an "out of ink" Extra Fine-tipped Sharpie pen.
The cactus is decorated with little round red Christmas balls. The balls were decorated with tiny dots of Liquitex Iridescent Bright Gold Heavy Bodied Acrylic and applied with the tip of a "spent and out of ink" Pigma Micron 01 pen. A #11 gold seed bead was pushed into the top of the ornament to give it a "hanger".
The star was made from gold PREMO polymer clay that was rolled out in a thin sheet, lightly powdered with corn starch and punched out with a Fiskers star punch. Once cured, the star was lightly covered with a layer of Art Glitter Clear Fabric Adhesive and diped into Art Glitter Vintage Fine Glass Glitter.
The Christmas Saguaro, other Southwestern/Arizona Christmas Ornaments and many other pieces are available at MelodyODesigns at Etsy
Article and images © October 28, 2013