Friday, March 16, 2007

Ceramic Shards

I have been inspired by an opportunity to join the Beadmakers Blog Ring to expand the focus of my blog. So I changed my name from pitfired beads to maryhardingjewelry bead blog. This will give me a place to talk about all kinds of ceramic bead making. I am excited about this but also a bit nervous as very few people ever read my blog before.

I have been experimenting with making ceramic shards for my peyote stitch necklaces. I got the idea from Linda Musante who uses PMC to make shards for her peyote stitch. I have made and glazed two so far and have 5 more in the greenware stage. I am excited about the sculptural effect of these shards. They are not flat. I have formed them around a bottle shape to give them a bit of a curve and it seems just right. But so far I have not added one to a necklace. I think I will wait until the next batch is ready.
I found out yesterday when I was sponging off some rough edges of my ceramic shards, that I was making more shards as I went along as they kept breaking. Because they are slightly concave they seem to break more easily than a flat pendant. So now I have a few more shards than I started out with.

As I was working on the shards I was thinking about pottery shards that I found as a kid in Arizona and how they all had smooth soft edges as well. I would smooth mine out anyway, as they need to be comfortable and gentle on clothing and the necklace itself, but I was wondering at first if a shard should be smooth. Funny how answers pop into our heads.

But one thing about today and yesterday that will not remind me of my childhood in Arizona is the new deep snow. We had just had a great melt and now it is back again. Beautiful, but I was already thinking Spring. One good thing though, I can have one more chance to use my cross country skis. I had been regretting that I had missed the last day before the thaw.

Raku Bead Video Part III