beads placed into a can for raku reduction
Since we are still having some decent weather here in Northern New York, and I had gotten out my raku equipment to make Zombie jewelry with my grandchildren when they visited over Columbus Day weekend, I thought I would share with you some pictures of how I used my small kiln to raku some beads I made this week.
The raku process requires the placement of red hot ware into a container ( for beads, like the one above) that has some combustibles that will catch on fire and once the lid is in place, will deprive the clay of oxygen and turn the unglazed areas black. The glazes will often develop an iridescent sheen.
Examples of selective glazing of my pieces for the raku firing
This toggle clasp has an unglazed area around the orange which will be blackened by the reduction firing
This daisy only has color and clear glaze on the petals
these birds have glazed areas and unglazed areas
this maple leaf was left unglazed but glazed all around the leaf
Here is how they looked after the firing
Raku Fired Toggle Clasp
Raku Fired Daisy
Raku Fired Birds
Raku Fired Maple Leaf Pendant
I use a small metal rack to string my beads on for the firing so that I can get them out of the kiln easily when they are red hot.
Beads on metal rack before the firing
I heat the kiln up to about 1800 degrees F. and then open the door and take out the red hot beads and place them in a Christmas popcorn container with combustibles.
beads heated up to 1800 degrees F
popcorn container with beads and combustibles on fire
I usually throw in some wood shavings and sawdust right before I put on the lid. Then I wait about 10-15 minutes and take them out and plunge the rack with the beads in a bucket of cold water. That step seems to bring out the sheen on the glazes.
raku fired beads drying in the dehydrator
After the beads have been in the cold water and cooled off, I scrub them with a brush and than put them in my dehydrator to dry.
Then they are ready to be used in jewelry. Many of these beads are in my Etsy shop
. I hope you will stop by.
Raku bead firing is a very unpredictable process. The colors of the glaze and the depth of blackness is not easy to control and has to do with many factors. Many experienced raku artists say that gray and overcast days with high humidity make the colors come out the best. I love the excitement of the raku process and the surprising results. But I also know that sometimes I will be disappointed in the outcome.
Now for my question to you: Do you like to be surprised by the results of what you do or would prefer a predictable outcome? or are you somewhere in between? Please tell and leave a comment below.
I will give away a pair of raku beads from these firings from a randomly chosen comment left below.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
beads shortly after they were removed from the cold water
You can see the iridescence on the bead rack as well as the beads.
I came across the work of Margit Boehmer
yesterday, and I just had
to share it with you.
Everything about her work draws me in. From the geometric shapes and textures, to the unabashed use of bright colors. Margit is a color lover, too (which you know I love), and it shows in pretty much every polymer clay bead she creates. I'm especially a fan of her color combos, which are unusual and captivating.
Aren't they lovely? As always, there's far more than I can show here, so be sure to stop by Margit's Etsy shop
This challenge painting is just tailor made for color blocking!
What drew my attention to this piece was the delicate balance that Martha has achieved with her color play. The white stars on the right are the same size as the beads on the left, that give the piece the visual weight. The fact that the bead on the left has a star on it, brings in what I call 'The Power of Three' to the piece: three stars in a triangular shape. This piece makes your eyes roam over it, as they would an autumn landscape, soaking in the colors and marveling at how they all work together so well.
Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post. We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge! (Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
This tutorial is for a pretty simple but endlessly versatile necklace design.
The ingredients here may look quite particular but you could work with any selection of harmonious materials you have to hand. Here is what is essentially the same design but in a couple of different variations.
The charms/pendants in the one on the left are, mostly, a chance selection of extras that Petra of Scorched Earth
sent me, which happened to fall together on my desk. The pieces in right-hand piece were leftovers from a magazine project I did for Beads and Beyond (including more Scorched Earth!). Just start by arranging your pieces in a fan on your mat. In this piece I've mixed my art beads with some rough and rugged semi-precious beads.
You'll need to be able to string all your items at the top so in some cases you may need to add a bail. A bit of wire will usually do the job.
Then all you do is start stringing. You'll want to use small beads (I've used 4mm glass rounds) so that you can control the distances between your pendant pieces with ease - and you won't always need the same number between each of your drops. It's really a case of judging by eye.
Once you've added the focal pieces continue beading up the sides for a short way. I've included a stray gold bead to add interest and break up the bronze coloured rounds.
I then added on a couple of little rondelles to give a bit of punctuation.
You might want to add a clasp at the side here, as I have in the other examples. Also, you may want to switch to even smaller beads and bead around the back of the necklace. However, in this case, I've opted for chain and a hook clasp at the back.
I've used french wire on the connection points. It's my new favourite thing to use - I've never been entirely convinced by wire guardians.
And that's your necklace done!
We are inching closer and closer to Halloween. I see more people decorating for Halloween than ever before. The only items I make that would qualify for this holiday are my Oz pendants, which are buttons also and my Wicked Earrings.
Leave links to your favorite buttons in the comments!
These are the single sided Oz pendants
that come hung on a simple cord with a pewter charm.
These are double sided Oz Pendants
on a swivel bail (not shown) with pewter charms.
Be sure to add the link to your favorite buttons in the comments!!
And now for the BeadBlogger Links. See you on next Monday!
Think it's okay to go crazy with sparkle? Lisa does too! Stop by A Bead A Day to see her latest find!
Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene Editors take the October Monthly Challenge using Milton Avery's painting Autumn as inspiration.
Learn how to make the very popular wrap-style bracelets that you see everywhere these days!
Taking a Fall Drive
Cherie uses the colors of fall as inspiration for some new pictures.
Tari makes Handmade Ceramic Buttons...Fun, Funky&Functional!
Uniquely different, every piece of art is an original.
Visit Tari's website ClayButtons.com, browse more than 20 Collections of Buttons.
Remember every button can be a Pendant or Jewelry Component!
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