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New Beads from Mary Harding Jewelry

                                                        Tall Beads by Mary Harding Jewely

For some time now I have been experimenting and making ceramic beads with the higher fire clay bodies of Porcelain and Stoneware.  Previously I pretty much only used earthenware ceramic clay which is also called a low fire clay.  The picture above features a porcelain bead on the far left the 2 stoneware beads.  I especially like making these beads in high fire clay.  They feel both ancient and extremely durable.  The ability to stamp and draw on all sides of a hollow beads is a skill I learned from the amazing polymer clay artist Claire Maunsell.  She is coming out with an ebook this Spring on surface treatments in polymer clay that you may want to be on the lookout for.  I know I will be. And  she has a great online class  HERE .
I have made a number of these hollow open bottom beads lately as seen below:

 I have been using some texture plates of my own which feature wood structure and plants.  I have also experimented with drawing on some of the details.  Some of the more intricate details are from a commercial stamp.

In this set I experimented with different  surface designs

                                                I especially like these shapes

                                                    More shape experimentation

For coloration, I have used an iron oxide wash

Iron oxide wash–I diluted it with some distilled water  and then painted it on each bead– using a generous amount and let them dry.

Then I wiped some off with a wet sponge.  This is how they looked when I put them into the kiln for the Cone 5 firing.  They came out a rich deep dark chocolate brown.  See pictures above.

                          Notebook entry for this firing.  I have a small L&L Babydoll  kiln–which I love!!.          

One of the things I have been trying to do consistently is keep a record in a notebook of what I fire in each load and what glazes and process etc. that I used, as seen in the example above.  It is so hard to remember later on.
I also made a lot of hearts that will accompany packages when I send out my work to customers.
These are porcelain.

                                                         Small porcelain heart charms

Now that I have all of these tube beads…what am I going to do with them?   I am planning to  keep some for myself to make  jewelry with.  And some I am saving for the Featured Artisans Trunk Show April 24-April 28 on  the Facebook Group Artisans Create Together.
I am hoping I can come up with a beautiful design with them like Karin Grosset Grange in the necklace below

       Gorgeous  necklace by Karin Grosset Grange  featuring one of my long hollow beads
                                     My dream of how one of these beads might be used!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  See you next month with a jewelry designer interview!!
Mary

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    TesoriTrovati
    March 28, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Great to see your evolution, Miss Mary! I love the textures and the simple shapes of those natural cones. They look like something unearthed from an ancient archaeological dig. And I adore your hearts. They are some of my most prized pieces from you! <3 Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. Reply
    Kathy Lindemer
    March 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Your hearts are adorable! When I saw your hollow beads, I immediately thought of leather or sari ribbon tassels. I think they are going to be wonderful for necklaces.

  3. Reply
    Elaine Thornton
    March 28, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    They are all totally fabulous… I love the textures and the look of the glaze giving it that ancient artefact vibe!!! I so love seeing your work.

    Have a lovely day
    Elaine x

  4. Reply
    Katherine Thompson
    March 28, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I love the ancient quality and I loved working with porcelain itself too. Porcelain is very strong and the texture feels wonderful to work with at the green ware stage, (for me).
    And I just loved my little heart from you it is a great gift – that became – well MINE!!!!

  5. Reply
    Karin G
    March 29, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Mary your beads are gorgeous! Are you planning to put some in your shop? Thank you for showing my necklace, I loved so much using your bead, in fact the whole necklace was built around it, as happens so often with your creations.

  6. Reply
    Stories They Tell
    March 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Those are really great, Mary! When used to corral fibers, as in the necklace you posted, they are brilliant! There really is something special about porcelain. Can't wait to see you in April and get my very own supply!

  7. Reply
    Mary Harding
    March 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful, supportive comments. I so appreciate hearing what you think. I do plan to make some of these long beads available in my Etsy and and for the Trunk Show I mentioned in my post. I will be sure to let you all know!!

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