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My Custom Made Bead Racks Actually Worked!

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I finally got around to making some of my own bead racks and what do ya know ... They actually worked!

I have a couple commercial ones but they are just not in a configuration that works well for me and waste loads of room in the kiln.

 

I made mine from the same clay I always use, Little Loafers. I am currently still using the nichrome wires from the commercial racks but when I have the money plan to buy some Kanthal wire and see how it works as supports for the items. The racks may not be beautiful but I have bisque fired them loaded as well as glaze firing with them loaded as you see in the pictures. I wasn't sure if the wires would sag too much without a counter balance on the outside points which I normally do but I needed the space to fire my spoons instead this time so I placed kiln posts along the tops and that seemed to work well also.

 

The pictures show you the racks and also the racks loaded into the kiln.

 

T

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I used wire good to fire to at least come six and I think it was advertised to go to 8 or something but would have to check again as its been awhile since I bought it. I got the wire through a pottery store online. I even fire my spoons using racks and wires by putting a hole in the end of the handle. It makes a nice place to tie an informational card and price tag as well as hang them up to fire. I suppose you could even hang the spoons up in the kitchen but the ones I make are not really that big more of a large soup spoon size. I offer them with my hostess sets.

 

T

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I've been using the same wires for 3 years now I think. I fire about twice a month I would say. The wire will warp or bend in the firing but stays flexible so it can be bent back into shape for the next firing. As it gets older it will leave a little dark mark on the inside of the hole where the wire touches but for me this is not an issue. I use a little Dremel bit to remove the dark spot and I use bails, wires or cords for most of what is fired using the wires and those cover the tiny dull spot left behind. It will bend less in the firing if you balance the load on the wire keeping equal weight on each side of the supports.

 

I haven't yet inserted wire into pieces permanently and then fired them. It's something I will eventually do.

 

I plan to make more of these racks and am going to try a tweak to the design so that I can stack them on top of each other and limit the number of shelves in the kiln.

 

T

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