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Background: I made oval earrings (oval shape with large oval cutout so they are more like an oval outline) (15 pairs) on the claybody Highwater Clays Little Loafers (Cone 6). I painted designs on them with Amaco underglazes. The tops of each have small holes (i'll put metal hoops them after they are all done). They have already been bisque fired. I also have three other pairs of earrings that have only small earrings.

Goal: Now, I want to put a clear glaze on them and glaze fire them. Ideally, in one batch.

What I have in my possession vs. what I could acquire. The clear glaze I already have is a Zinc-free Cone 5/6 glaze. However, I can get a different, low-fire clear glaze. I also have a bead rack I borrowed with some long rods that are too large for the small holes in the earrings.

My question:  I found this image online, in which someone made oval earrings very similar to mine and a bead rack with hooks. It appears they used kiln safe metal wire to make hooks. The hooks appear to be large but small enough to fit through small holes. I wonder what your opinion of that is.  I'd have to figure out what gauge to get. A ceramicist nearby has a jewelry tree so I may take the bisquefired earrings over to her and try to see how they fit on her jewelry tree and that might tell me approx. the size wire those jewelry trees use and I could get the same gaugue, bend and make hooks out of them to hang on the rods. 

One potter has said this ^ should work if I order some nichrome or kanthal wire. They also think it would be fine to do with the Cone 6 clear glaze I have and would be fine to fire up to a Cone 6 (although we actually do Cone 5). 

Part of me wonders if I should just get low-fire glaze, try the hook thing, and low fire it to be on the safer side.


Other solution: As I typed this, I just realized a possible other solution…1.) get a low fire brushable glaze, 2.) simply put rods through the large oval (taking care not to glaze the inside edge or anywhere where the rod will rest) instead of worrying about the small circles at all. It’s not as ideal but would probably hardly be noticeable. 3.) Fire at a low temp 04-06. That might work for the oval earrings but not for the winking eyes.

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I fire my earrings, buttons and ornaments 04 for bisque and cone 6 for glaze.   I use a clear glaze on almost everything I have. I have used the wire from the elements when I cut them off to create little hooks.  Yes, kanthal or higher temp nichrome wire will be just fine.  But,  I am wondering why you think you need to low fire??

If it's all designed to be fired at cone 5/6 it's been good for me.  I use a cone 6 porcelain, amaco underglaze as well as some transfers and everything comes out hunky dorey!  Yes, you will have to get creative as far as how you place them in the kiln.  Some of my pieces do not get glazed on the back and I put them directly on the shelf.  I have a bead rack similar to the one you borrowed and I have one that has small wire hooks, but it only holds 6 pieces.  So your idea of hanging the loop earrings on the bead rack is a good one.  Just don't glaze the interior wall, like you mentioned.     

Roberta

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if you are going to do this regularly, use the right tools for the job and be sure to fire  little loafers to cone 6.     

 you can make your own bead rack to fit your own work.   especially if it is larger than what would fit between the top wire and the next one down.    get some kanthal wire for the rack and do not try to do something that is as complicated as you are thinking .      it is just a substitution for something you can do very easily.

look at the shapes of the bead racks shown and make something that will work the same way but in the right size.

 

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hey oldlady, eventually I'd like to make my own rack, yes. I won't get into the complicated reason why I can't do that for this firing but suffice it to say, I don't have the time to make my own rack, etc. for it this time.

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10 hours ago, Roberta12 said:

@CFlowers  here is an example of some small wire that is used for beads/jewelry

https://www.theceramicshop.com/store/category/9/31/bead-racks-and-trees/

Hi! Yes, trust me I've been all over the ceramic shop. I've looked at all. I am just broke and for the time being can't order multiple racks. Eventually I do want to make my own, though!

Good news: I went back to the woman who owns the clay supply shop here and has been a teacher. This time, I physically took my earrings, showed her photos. My earrings fit on her jewelry tree (which she got from the ceramic shop) and I explained to her what I hoped to do-make hooks to hang earrings from for this batch. I don't think it seems that complicated. She assured me I should be able to make order wire and I will be able to bend it into hooks and fire normal Cone 5/6 as we always do. I just need to call ceramic shop and ask what gauge wire it is that is used since I already know for sure that they fit the holes I have in my earrings. I think it is 24 gauge but I'm going to ask to be sure.

I'll definitely update to let y'all know what happens. I hope they work out! I fell in love with painting little native plants.

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1 hour ago, CFlowers said:

Hi! Yes, trust me I've been all over the ceramic shop. I've looked at all. I am just broke and for the time being can't order multiple racks. Eventually I do want to make my own, though!

Good news: I went back to the woman who owns the clay supply shop here and has been a teacher. This time, I physically took my earrings, showed her photos. My earrings fit on her jewelry tree (which she got from the ceramic shop) and I explained to her what I hoped to do-make hooks to hang earrings from for this batch. I don't think it seems that complicated. She assured me I should be able to make order wire and I will be able to bend it into hooks and fire normal Cone 5/6 as we always do. I just need to call ceramic shop and ask what gauge wire it is that is used since I already know for sure that they fit the holes I have in my earrings. I think it is 24 gauge but I'm going to ask to be sure.

I'll definitely update to let y'all know what happens. I hope they work out! I fell in love with painting little native plants.

here is an economy perspective.
In a pinch for new stuff or one off - we take heavy gauge kanthal wire and rest it on top of two stilts. Fired to cone six all is fine for doing several at a time. Works fine as long as the distance between the stilts is not silly excessive. Maybe four inches. If we like the result and want to mass produce, we build a rack that fits the jewelry efficiently. Before hanging the jewelry we coat the wire with wax with alumina in it. Everything comes off easily with very little blemish.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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20 hours ago, Roberta12 said:

I fire my earrings, buttons and ornaments 04 for bisque and cone 6 for glaze.   I use a clear glaze on almost everything I have. I have used the wire from the elements when I cut them off to create little hooks.  Yes, kanthal or higher temp nichrome wire will be just fine.  But,  I am wondering why you think you need to low fire??

If it's all designed to be fired at cone 5/6 it's been good for me.  I use a cone 6 porcelain, amaco underglaze as well as some transfers and everything comes out hunky dorey!  Yes, you will have to get creative as far as how you place them in the kiln.  Some of my pieces do not get glazed on the back and I put them directly on the shelf.  I have a bead rack similar to the one you borrowed and I have one that has small wire hooks, but it only holds 6 pieces.  So your idea of hanging the loop earrings on the bead rack is a good one.  Just don't glaze the interior wall, like you mentioned.     

Roberta

Roberta, thank you for your response. Do you happen to have an idea of what size guage wire this might be: https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/1641/bead-tree-rep-set-of-122wire/

 I ask because it is the wire pieces that the bead/jewelry tree from Roselli uses and I have fitted my earrings onto this very tree yesterday and it was a great fit. I'd like to order the same size. i suppose I could just order the replacement wire that they sell. But I'd rather order a large roll and cut it to make the size I want.

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22 hours ago, CFlowers said:

Roberta, thank you for your response. Do you happen to have an idea of what size guage wire this might be: https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/1641/bead-tree-rep-set-of-122wire/

 I ask because it is the wire pieces that the bead/jewelry tree from Roselli uses and I have fitted my earrings onto this very tree yesterday and it was a great fit. I'd like to order the same size. i suppose I could just order the replacement wire that they sell. But I'd rather order a large roll and cut it to make the size I want.

I do not, but I will go out to my kiln shop in a bit  and check.  I learned very good trick from Jen Allen.  If you have slip trailers tips that have the gauge on them, use those to make the holes in your earrings/buttons and then you will have a consistent size ( also you can use the slip trailer tips to measure wire) And maybe think about making your holes larger than 24 gauge (after firing) it will be easier to attach jump rings or whatever you might be doing.  

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1 hour ago, Roberta12 said:

I do not, but I will go out to my kiln shop in a bit  and check.  I learned very good trick from Jen Allen.  If you have slip trailers tips that have the gauge on them, use those to make the holes in your earrings/buttons and then you will have a consistent size ( also you can use the slip trailer tips to measure wire) And maybe think about making your holes larger than 24 gauge (after firing) it will be easier to attach jump rings or whatever you might be doing.  

Thank you for checking! I emailed the ceramic shop but haven't heard back.

Yes, I've made some other earrings and I made sure i made them bigger.

At least this is a step up from where I made some earrings and forgot to put ANY holes in where I could turn them into actual earrings haha

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2 hours ago, CFlowers said:

Thank you for checking! I emailed the ceramic shop but haven't heard back.

Yes, I've made some other earrings and I made sure i made them bigger.

At least this is a step up from where I made some earrings and forgot to put ANY holes in where I could turn them into actual earrings haha

 @CFlowersCan you see in this picture the long green dangly earrings??  I am putting 17 gauge nichrome wire directly in the clay as I am making them.  That is another way to hang the earring on a rack.  You can make that loop as long as you want. Then you can dip them in the glaze and hang. 

 

20200307_132457 (1)earrings.jpg

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On 3/26/2020 at 7:57 AM, CFlowers said:

Roberta, thank you for your response. Do you happen to have an idea of what size guage wire this might be: https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/1641/bead-tree-rep-set-of-122wire/

 I ask because it is the wire pieces that the bead/jewelry tree from Roselli uses and I have fitted my earrings onto this very tree yesterday and it was a great fit. I'd like to order the same size. i suppose I could just order the replacement wire that they sell. But I'd rather order a large roll and cut it to make the size I want.

I checked.  The small hooks are 14 gauge.  The large bar is probably 10 and I misspoke on the small wire that I poke into the earrings.  It is 24 gauge.  

20200327_125905_resized (1) wire.jpg

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Here's one of the rolls of wire you need. They also have the thinner 24 gauge. I use both of them, both for supporting a bead on the rack and for inserting directly into clay. 

https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/1496/wire-high-temp-17g/

I had the experience of a pile of beads slumped and melted together on the kiln shelf and since mine are heavy, I use this on the rod between bead rack supports to keep wire from bending under the weight. Then I cut pieces of the 17 gauge wire and wrap to fit on the rod to suspend the bead. As long as you don't bend them often you can reuse them many times. I slide them on and off the ends instead of bending them to fit each time. I do some ornaments this way too. One thing for heavy items is to be sure the wire is wrapped once around the rod or the weight will begin to straighten the wire and it may fall.

https://www.theceramicshop.com/product/1675/porcelain-rod-6/

I use small drill bits to make my holes in the beads. Sometimes trying to push something through will crack it. I try to get the hole close to the edge so the jump ring fits through easily.

 

bead rack.jpg

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