Sunday, January 30, 2011

From the Firing

Pendants, fresh from the kiln

Pendants from the second firing

Hearts, closeup

More closeups

Sometimes a piece comes out exactly like you plan

Sometimes a piece comes out totally differently than you expected.

Firing Day!

Is there anything more exciting than firing day? It's like the Circus, Prom, and Graduation rolled into one. We are glaze firing the heart pendants today. With other ceramic processes, that would take many hours, but with Raku,the firing takes about 40 minutes then roughly 20 minutes in the reduction bucket....Photos coming soooon!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bead Racks...

A-frame rack
The hardest part of getting started with making Raku beads and pendants was finding a way to efficiently fire them. Inspired by the rack in
Mary Harding's You Tube video, Glenn came up with several designs that work for us. The A-frame rack is extremely stable but takes up a lot of kiln space. The rectangular racks take up much less room, but are not quite as stable. All
Rectangular rack
of the racks can be strung on both sides, so you can get a good number of  beads or pendants on any of them. 
The most important consideration 
in a bead rack is how well you can 
grip the rack with the tongs to move 
the rack from the kiln to the reduction
bin (aka trash can).

Gripping the rack with tongs.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Spool knitted chain

Our daughter's First Lego League (FLL) tournament was on Saturday and to kill time between rounds I took my spool knitter and some 28g copper. Spool knitting is a great portable craft and the results are surprisingly good. Some sites with instructions on spool knitting with wire are:

I made the focal piece several months ago with the intention of pairing it with leather, but I was just not loving it. The spool knitted chain is just the right touch. The beads are (of course) Raku with a copper lobster claw closure at the front.

BTW, the kids did really well in the tournament. It was their first time competing and they came in 4th (out of 24) for the Mindstorm Robot mission.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


After a busy Fall -> Winter of production, we took a break over Christmas. Now we need to get back into production mode. We went to Aspects of Clay (our local clay studio) and cranked out 40 or so pendants - mostly hearts - for Valentines Day. There is nothing like a clean well stocked studio to recharge the creative power. At least, there is nothing like a clean studio at our place!! So glad we have to option to work out of a studio when we get the urge.
Waiting to be fired

Bead Table Wednesday

Pendants from my work table

Bead table Wednesday - a look inside my bead box. Here are raku beads and pendants waiting to become jewelry.
Some beads from my work table