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Firing metal in kilns? Help

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Hi, I make buttons and beads but I can only glaze part of them, I would like to glaze the whole piece! I would like to make a clay shaft with nails or wire sticking out everywhere like a dead tree so I can glaze the whole piece and stick each piece on a branch. Does anyone have information that would help me? It would be greatly appreciated thanks!

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Hi, I make buttons and beads but I can only glaze part of them, I would like to glaze the whole piece! I would like to make a clay shaft with nails or wire sticking out everywhere like a dead tree so I can glaze the whole piece and stick each piece on a branch. Does anyone have information that would help me? It would be greatly appreciated thanks!

 

 

I have never used one, but I know I have seen bead trees and bead racks available at ceramic supply stores/online. I believe the wire or metal used must be able to handle the temperature. The wire itself is also available (used for hangers and such on sculptures). There is probably wire available at hardware suppliers that is rated for the temperature you are using.

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Make your own bead rack: Get some thick element wire from a kiln manufacturer, and an insulating fire brick. Do not get the thin high temp wire that ceramic suppliers sell. It will bend too easily. Cut the element wire into pieces about 2 inches long. Stand the brick on end and stick the element wire pieces into all 4 sides of the brick, spaced out for the size of your buttons and beads. You're basically making a brick with pins sticking out of it all over. You can hang one button on each pin, just far enough out so it doesn't touch the brick.

Mark McCombs likes this

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If you go to the Beads of Clay blog (http://www.blog.beadsofclay.org/search?q=bead+tree) you can see plenty of examples of loaded kilns with beads, buttons, and pendants, many glazed front and back. Just make sure that the high temp wire that you use for hanging the beads is 17-14 gauge, so that it can withstand the sagging (I used to use 17 but have moved to 14, as it can withstand a cone 6 firing better). Hope this helps.

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Here's an example of a cone 06 firing in my Paragon Firefly. Nothing fancy here. These are 17 gauge wires, with 10 gauge wires across the middle for support. (17 gauge works ok in a cone 06 firing, but if you're doing a cone 6 get 14 gauge wires). Just be sure to clean the glaze out of the holes on your pieces. I leave about a quarter of an inch between beads on the wires, and about a half inch between pendants (just in case there is some sag from the wires they won't twist together and marry each other).

 

 

Loaded Kiln

 

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