Creating an Ornament

Collectors Corner


Creating an Ornament: A Thoughtful Process

For over thirty years, the Christopher Radko Company has captured the hearts of millions of Americans with extraordinary hand-crafted ornaments. The radiance and originality of each piece brings joy into households throughout the world during the holiday season.

Each of our designs begins as an intricate illustration created by Radko artists. Then the year-long process of sculpting, molding, and sampling begins. At the production stage, our family-owned European factories use centuries-old techniques to blow, silver, hand-lacquer and embellish each and every ornament. This process requires a full seven days to complete.

More than a year before our catalog presents our one-of-a-kind ornaments, a team of designers, carvers, molders and glass blowers all work together to take an idea and turn it into a magnificent holiday decoration.

Our designers draw inspiration from Christmas classics, fine paintings, suggestions from collectors and life events. As soon as an idea is submitted, the Radko team works tirelessly to prepare the utmost perfect edition of art for the ornaments. Collaborating to inspect the minutest details, the team ensures that no ornament is ever left unfinished. After this thorough review, multiple revisions are made so that the development can begin.

The revisions do not stop there. Once the flat art is submitted and sent to Poland, a sculptor creates a three-dimensional mold from clay. Review begins again and the Radko team inspects each curve and indent of the mold to make sure it is absolutely impeccable.

When approved, the sculpt travels to a mold maker who creates a sand-cast model from molten metal using a technique that dates all the way back to the Renaissance. This becomes the mother mold, and the seven day production process officially begins.

Day 1

Day 1

On the first day of production, the glassblower creates a solid ornament using clear tempered glass, which is preferred for its notable strength. There is a noticeable difference in the weight of a Radko ornament and the tempered glass makes it solid to the touch.

Day 2

Day 2

On the second day, the ornament is silvered, giving it the famed luminescence that will brighten up your Christmas tree. This base enriches each hand-painted stroke so that even the most delicate details are seen.

Days 3 & 4

Day 3 and 4

On the third day, a base coat of matte lacquer is hand applied to each ornament. On day four, a second application of lacquer coats the ornament and additional colors are added.

Day 5

Day 5

On day five, the fine embellishments are added. From Santa’s rosy cheeks to the seeds on a strawberry, even the smallest detail is applied meticulously. This strenuous process ensures that each personalized touch creates charming variations in each ornament. Like the snowflakes on a peaceful winter day, no two ornaments are ever exactly alike.

Day 6

Day 6

On the sixth day, the ornament comes to life as the sparkle shows up in Santa’s eyes and the "icing" is spread onto the gingerbread house. Glitter highlights the contours of your ornament so that it can be admired from any part of your tree.

Day 7

Day 7

On the seventh and final day, the ornaments are inspected to ensure the very highest standards of workmanship. Finally, the golden Radko charm and custom-designed R-A-D-K-O ornament crown is put in place. After being tagged and carefully packed for shipment, the ornaments travel to Christopher Radko’s offices and warehouses in the United States.