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Calynda

Glazing Clay Beads

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I am in the midst of a large project involving many hand-made beads and pendants suspended from larger sculptures. This is a much larger bead project than I have ever done before, and I wonder if anyone has any tips for firing glazed beads. I have some short lengths of high-heat wire on which I can string small amounts of beads separated by bits of wadding, but I am wondering if anyone knows a more efficient method of firing large quantities of beads. The average bead size is about the size of a grape, some a bit larger. I will be firing some beads in an electric kiln, and others in a raku kiln. I would be really grateful for any tips or tricks.

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I have used several types of bead racks, with nichrome wire, and some with rods. I also used to use a star stilt which I haven't seen lately it was a small square of metal with a hole that had a protrusion of jagged ends; I would set the glazed beads upon it.

 

Tips: When you make the beads be sure to make the openings flat and level give them a tap onto a flat level surface.

 

When glazing your beads put only a thin coat of glaze on the end, and set them on the smallest stilt that you can find.

 

 

 

Do not allow dancing such as the Cha-Cha, Jitterbug, Flamenco and Tap Dancing in the area of the firing kiln so that the work will not topple over.

 

 

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I have used several types of bead racks, with nichrome wire, and some with rods. I also used to use a star stilt which I haven't seen lately it was a small square of metal with a hole that had a protrusion of jagged ends; I would set the glazed beads upon it.

 

Tips: When you make the beads be sure to make the openings flat and level give them a tap onto a flat level surface.

 

When glazing your beads put only a thin coat of glaze on the end, and set them on the smallest stilt that you can find.

 

 

 

Do not allow dancing such as the Cha-Cha, Jitterbug, Flamingo and Tap Dancing in the area of the firing kiln so that the work will not topple over.

 

 

 

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Thank you, Lucille. I have nichrome and rods, but need to do dozens and dozens of beads hopefully in a single fire. Your mention of the base with the jagged ends on it is brilliant. I can easily construct such a thing and will give it a try. BUT - oh NOOOO! No dancing in the kiln room?? Whatever will the kiln god think......?

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Thank you, Lucille. I have nichrome and rods, but need to do dozens and dozens of beads hopefully in a single fire. Your mention of the base with the jagged ends on it is brilliant. I can easily construct such a thing and will give it a try. BUT - oh NOOOO! No dancing in the kiln room?? Whatever will the kiln god think......?

 

 

 

These were commercially made stilts that were made to withstand high temperatures. I am sorry I cannot give you a supplier. I bought them years ago from Ceramic Supply of NY & NJ. I haven't seen them in any supplier's catalog but if you call Ceramic Supply you can ask them if they have any or can order them. They were the all metal star stilts about 1/4" square. Maybe someone here recalls them or knows a supplier. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

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Thank you, Lucille. I have nichrome and rods, but need to do dozens and dozens of beads hopefully in a single fire. Your mention of the base with the jagged ends on it is brilliant. I can easily construct such a thing and will give it a try. BUT - oh NOOOO! No dancing in the kiln room?? Whatever will the kiln god think......?

 

 

 

These were commercially made stilts that were made to withstand high temperatures. I am sorry I cannot give you a supplier. I bought them years ago from Ceramic Supply of NY & NJ. I haven't seen them in any supplier's catalog but if you call Ceramic Supply you can ask them if they have any or can order them. They were the all metal star stilts about 1/4" square. Maybe someone here recalls them or knows a supplier. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

 

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