Hello Art Bead Scene! My name is Michelle McCarthy and I am one of the newest contributors. I have been playing with ceramic clay for 10 years now. I started out with hand building and wheel lessons at my local art center in Englewood, Florida. I had a wonderful instructor who encouraged
and supported my growth in making functional and decorative pottery.
I started selling my pottery at out door tent shows through out Florida. Well, wind can be brutal and a few shows I had more pottery break than I sold. Not fun. But….I soon discovered beads and jewelry design and said, “Hey…I should make beads!” So now I make beads 90% of the time and sneak in a bowl, plate or decorative piece 10% of the time.
Here is the start to the ceramic pieces I made for a fun ruffled heart bracelet.
This is white earthenware clay that I rolled out to 1/4″ thick. I smoothed the pattern out that the slab roller cloth leaves behind and used the cookie cutter to get my shape. I then make the hole vertically through the heart with this skewer.
This picture shows the various stages of the heart and round beads. The green ware heart at the top is still wet. After it dries, I clean any rough edges and put it in the kiln for the first firing, which turns it into bisque. The white round bead is in the bisque stage. It is now ready to be glazed. The cone or temperature for this clay is 04 for bisque and 06 for glaze firing, which is just under 2000 degrees. This teal and copper glaze is one of my favorites. It has glass crystals in it that burst from the heat of the kiln.
I am going to make a fun bracelet with the ceramic beads I just created, along with some waxed linen, 1mm leather, aventurine gem stone beads, 2 antique copper spacer beads and a closed antique copper ring.
Waxed linen is my favorite stringing material….it is so easy to use.
Thank you for reading about my ceramic bead making process and following along with a finished bracelet design using my beads. If you’d like to learn more about me and my beads, please visit my website at www.potterybeads.com