Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Morning After...

by MaryAnn Carroll

can be tough with any kind of addiction...  Well... not ALL addictions!  The morning after a kiln firing when you have a "BEAD addiction" can be quite exciting.  It's the part of the addiction that keeps you wanting more.  It's like this one time, when Bill and I were in Saugatuck, Michigan, and went into this very cool bead store with LOADS of beads on sale!  It is a similiar thrill!  When it comes to beads, my second love next to art beads is turquoise... and that store was loaded with it.....

Okay, I'm heading off course...

Back to the morning after:  For all of you out there who are part of the "Supporting All Bead Addicts" group, you can imagine what it might feel like to open a kiln first thing in the morning and see this....

Lookin' Good!

Next, it is time to get them out and see if any minor collisions took place like 2 beads becoming 1 because they were placed too close in the kiln and the glaze fused them together or..... one dropped from a wire because I balanced it too far to the end.

Out they come....  Beads covering both sides of the bead trees....

Still Lookin' Good....

Time to remove them from the wires.  Here is when the the jury is called in....

Will they be good enough to put through to the next round?

And....we have all, but one survivor...  Not bad!  And that was just a little stray that I found and didn't want to throw out!  You can see it there still hanging on!  I guess that little bead was never really destined to be made into something special.

Now....I sort a little further.  Since I started up my jewelry venture again just a few months ago, I have been finding that I'm having a hard time parting with so many beads.  Instead of looking at them and thinking about what might look good together for sale in my Etsy shop, I've been looking at them and wondering what might look good in a piece of jewelry.  So, with this firing I decided to solve that problem and glaze extras of the beads that I covet the most.

So, there you have it.  The beads that are in a little group in the upper right are the ones that I'm keeping to add to my own collection (well...truthfully, since this picture was taken the other day, I've grabbed a couple of others....  but mostly, what you see here will eventually make it to my shop).


I have to say that clay is so fun to work with.  What you can do with it is endless.  An example of one  difference are the beads shown above.   I used the exact same glaze and applied with the same amount of thickness.  The clay body used on the beads shown on the left  is a stoneware mix and on the right is the porcelain, the clay that I use most often.  I gravitate toward porcelain because I can 'mostly' control the results because of its whiteness and translucence.  Lately, however, I have stepped outside of my little clay box and I'm experimenting with other clay bodies.  I have to say that it has been fun and the results surprising.

And lastly, I'm going to be redundant.....what I love the most are the endless creations.  You can create VERY small pieces of art like these little 5 mm beads (that is as small as I can get) .....


to these cute little guys and gals that my husband Bill has been working on.... 

These will be headed to the next wood-firing.


to very large sculptures created by clay artists around the world. 

Thanks for stopping by to see a little of what goes on in my little part of the world in Homer, NY.

The questions I would like to leave you thinking about today are...

"What art beads are your favorites?"
"Do you make your own art beads, if so, what do you make?" 
"If not, do you perhaps see yourself making art beads in your future?"

We would love to hear from you....  and stay tuned tomorrow for our next
EXCITING giveaway offered by Mary Jane Dodd.

13 comments:

D'Arsie Manzella said...

Oh I know how you feel about the clay! The endless possibilities...some of my favorite art beads are from stoneware/porcelain clay. I always see myself making art beads-tiny treasures to cherish-my whole life long! Hooray handmade. Thank you for sharing your exciting kiln opening!

Yolanda M. said...

What a good stash of beads MaryAnn! and only one didn't make it? that is good! I love your beads racks, they seem to fit lots of beads. Did you make these? any special clay used? And yes clay is magical, soothing and oh always surprising, love it!

VanBeads said...

I remember when I was doing fused glass and lampwork glass to support my little family during the summers, opening the kiln in the morning was a little bit like Christmas morning every day. It was just amazing to see those little glass beauties glistening in the light of day!

While I don't see myself getting back to some serious torch work until after my son has started school, for now, I'm going to support as many lampwork and ceramic artists as I can! I especially love sculptural lampwork glass beads, mainly because that was one set of techniques I could never master when I was lampworking.

Lovely beads from your kiln!

MaCarroll Beads said...

Thanks for the comments!! Yolanda, Bill made those for me from a Cone 10 stoneware clay. I fire to cone 6 and these work well being fired over and over again to cone 6. He made them to fill up the kiln with as many beads possible. They do warp a bit, but I use that to my advantage by leaning the warped side away from another tree. Also, the wire I use has lasted me a couple of years and I fire every other week approx. I actually rarely have any stick to the wire since I started using a dremel to clean out each hole after glazing. Sometimes, the glaze will chip near the hole so I have to go through and do little touch ups.

Patty said...

Kiln openings are always very exciting events! Thanks for sharing your bounty!

For My Sweet Daughter said...

These all look so great and I love what Bill has been working on.
I am just getting into making my own art beads if you can call fused glass and etched copper art beads.
Thanks for the look into the kiln!
Shannon C

Yolanda M. said...

Thanks for the info. I may have to make some in the hopes I can get more stuff in there fired. I have some cone 10 clay, so it's perfect. I fire to cone 5-6... I am amazed as to how long that wire lasts too. Thanks again!

mairedodd said...

i can only imagine what it must be like to open a kiln - your work looks wonderful - and thank you for showing some of bill's work as well - how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much beauty... aren't you just sometimes so thankful that you found what feeds your soul? i know i am..

MaCarroll Beads said...

Yes.... I'm definitely thankful for finding something that I love so much....and I'm also thankful for finding myself a husband who loves it too...It took a couple of tries ;o) LOL!!

As for art beads... You can DEFINITELY call fused glass and etched copper art beads. I would love to see them sometime!

Kelli said...

Every time you show one of your kiln openings, it just makes me want a kiln that much more!! I remember taking my clay class, and getting there just in time to see my first beads coming out. WOW!!! Loved it!!! Beautiful group!!

Barbara Lewis said...

I remember kiln openings fondly. We'd go outside, pull the peep hole plugs, hold up the flashlight to look inside, and nearly melt it in our hands! The anticipation nearly killed us!

MaCarroll Beads said...

LOL Barbara.... That sounds like Bill the next day after a wood-firing! Kelli.... Go for it!!!

Alice said...

Beautifu!!!!! I'd love to make my own beads, but right now I barely have time to make a piece of jewelry let alone creating the components. Someday I want to try my hand at making clay beads.

face
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...