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.
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!!