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High Temp Wire-Newbie Question

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Hi Guys,

Newbie question here- I have just started making beads. My kiln is a Fire Fly with an interior space of about 8x8x4ish, so pretty small! I rolled my beads and they are ready to bisque, but the holes have shrunk enough that they won't fit on the bead rods now. Sigh. I have Kemper 17g high temp wire which states it can fire up to cone 5. My beads fit on the wire with no problem and will even fit if I double up the wire. Is it a problem to use two wires do you think? Won't get too hot or anything like that? I know I should take a class or something, but I am a new mommy with 5mo. twins and I can't commit to that, so thank you for all your help!!!

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Guest HerbNorris

The Kemper high temp wire will be okay, but will soften and sag during the firing , so allow for that. Using two wires would be fine, but remember that your beads are going to shrink some in the firing, and you don't want them getting stuck on the wire after all your hard work, or cracking.

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You can roll wider diameter holes with a thicker gauge wire. It is good to do a test of the openings of your beads to be sure you have the opening sized the way you want. You can find aluminum wire in a larger gauge. But do not fire the beads on this wire is has a very low melting point, just use it for forming it will give you nice rounded openings.

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A couple quick thoughts -- first, for a bisque firing you probably don't need to use wire at all. It doesn't matter if the beads are touching each other since there's no glaze. (Some people place them in an already bisqued bowl or small pot.) And second, for the glaze firing you might consider putting kiln wash on the wire -- that can make it easier to get the beads off the wire if there are any glaze drips that block the hole.

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A couple quick thoughts -- first, for a bisque firing you probably don't need to use wire at all. It doesn't matter if the beads are touching each other since there's no glaze. (Some people place them in an already bisqued bowl or small pot.) And second, for the glaze firing you might consider putting kiln wash on the wire -- that can make it easier to get the beads off the wire if there are any glaze drips that block the hole.

 

 

 

Kiln wash on the wire-I like it! Thank you Amy!

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You can roll wider diameter holes with a thicker gauge wire. It is good to do a test of the openings of your beads to be sure you have the opening sized the way you want. You can find aluminum wire in a larger gauge. But do not fire the beads on this wire is has a very low melting point, just use it for forming it will give you nice rounded openings.

 

 

Yes, previously I had made the holes with one of the firing rods, but this last time I used wooden skewers which worked beautifully, but just a tad bit undersize obviously:( So now I am trying to find out my options. Thanks for the heads up re: the aluminum!

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The Kemper high temp wire will be okay, but will soften and sag during the firing , so allow for that. Using two wires would be fine, but remember that your beads are going to shrink some in the firing, and you don't want them getting stuck on the wire after all your hard work, or cracking.

 

 

 

No that would be a disaster, maybe I won't try two wires. Thanks Herb!

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You can probably make the holes bigger by using drill bits -- start with one that is about the size of the current hole, ream it, then go to the next size drill bit and repeat. Twist the drill bit slowly by hand to reduce the chance of breakage; you do not want to force the bit through. This will create clay dust, so do it outside (preferably) and with a mask. Expect a couple to break; it takes a bit of practice to learn how much pressure you can use. For your next set, do the drill bit routine at leatherhard. Find out the shrinkage % of your clay and factor that into your next set.

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You can probably make the holes bigger by using drill bits -- start with one that is about the size of the current hole, ream it, then go to the next size drill bit and repeat. Twist the drill bit slowly by hand to reduce the chance of breakage; you do not want to force the bit through. This will create clay dust, so do it outside (preferably) and with a mask. Expect a couple to break; it takes a bit of practice to learn how much pressure you can use. For your next set, do the drill bit routine at leatherhard. Find out the shrinkage % of your clay and factor that into your next set.

 

 

I did just order a little drill tool too! Thank yousmile.gif

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Hi Guys,

Newbie question here- I have just started making beads. My kiln is a Fire Fly with an interior space of about 8x8x4ish, so pretty small! I rolled my beads and they are ready to bisque, but the holes have shrunk enough that they won't fit on the bead rods now. Sigh. I have Kemper 17g high temp wire which states it can fire up to cone 5. My beads fit on the wire with no problem and will even fit if I double up the wire. Is it a problem to use two wires do you think? Won't get too hot or anything like that? I know I should take a class or something, but I am a new mommy with 5mo. twins and I can't commit to that, so thank you for all your help!!!

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i have made lots of raku beads for the bisque you dont need to have them on any sort of stand or wires just bisque them in a bisque pot you are bisquing at the same time it doesnt matter if they touch as long as NO glaze is on them .... i make my beads then i use a nail to make the hole but i go in on both sides and gently screwing the nail it does have to be bigger than your wire even wobble it around as you are making the hole then tidy the entrancing put it aside to dry check with nail again if still too smal wet the nail and gently screw it round the hole you can easily get a bigger nail if the first one too small. good luck :)smile.gif

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