Sunday, January 15, 2006

Above is a picture of some beads that were fired either in the pit or in a can with sawdust. The range of grays, blacks and inbetween shades is incredible and is solely the result of the fire and smoke on the beads. I have found that using porcelain clay as a body gives a softer and wider range of colors. These beads were mostly cast from porcelain slip. It gives the bead a creamier quality and I think that the whiteness of the porcelain is more open to trapping the carbon from the smoke than other clay bodies. These beads were bisque fired to cone 06. I am going to try cone 010 as I have read that bisquing at that temperature, which is considerably cooler than 06 will leave the clay body more porous and again trap the carbon better. I will surely post those results but it will be awhile as I haven't bisqued the beads yet, and in fact I haven't even made them. I am still working on a pile that I bisqued at cone 06. And before I forget to mention it, the beads in the above picture are for sale on the site in the Ceramic category. Currently the Beads of Clay Yahoo Group is putting forth a group effort to put as many artist beads made of clay on the Ceramics categoryas possible. Last I looked we were up to 50. A great chance to see some of the best beads being made by ceramic artists today. You can learn more about this group at

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