For many of you who have know me for a long time, I was mainly known for my beads. I fell out of the bead making addiction a few years ago and have never really gotten into it for sales since. I do, however, still make beads and use them in my own jewelry. I plan on getting into sales again, but might wait until Handmade on Amazon gets started. I left Etsy awhile back, despite the fact that they are probably the best place to sell handmade items currently. Like everyone knows, Etsy also added manufactured items and, in my opinion, that is like nails on a chalkboard.... enough said!
Since I have made a few beads lately and do have a stash that I have been hoarding, I thought I would share some of what I do.
Mostly, I make mid-fire porcelain beads. Mid-fire means that the glazed beads are fired to about 2200 degrees F.
There are a few things I love about mid-fire electric firing. One of those things is control. The other is that there is a wide variety of colors. As for control, once you're up close and personal with your glazes, you can make them do just about anything that you want. The electric firing is very dependable and the results that I get are often what I expect. I do like to buy new glazes occasionally because I like to keep it interesting. I am actually glazing today and trying a turquoise that a friend gave me. I never do test tiles ..... just give it a shot on about 10 or so beads. I can pretty much commit the results to memory.... I cannot believe I said that because if you ask me to come up with a word for something, it takes me awhile and a few times guessing...
The other thing I make are wood-fired beads. I am VERY lucky to have a husband that fires all of his pottery this way. The wood-fire kiln is 34 cubic compared to my little electric kiln which is less than 2 cubic feet. Wood-fired kilns are not designed for bead makers!!!
As for wood-fired beads, you have to give up control. The kiln is stoked every few minutes for about 20 hours (longer if you have a bigger kiln) so the heat is much more unpredictable. The temps go up and down as you open the door to throw in more wood. You can get a basic idea of what you would like your work to come out like, but the kiln has the final say (that happens a with electric too, but not to the same extent).
Different kinds of wood ash deposit on the pottery creating unique effects on each one. During this last firing I wanted my beads to be back in the kiln a little further so they didn't get bombarded with ash. Here is the most recent result.
Today I would like to offer a giveaway of 7 random beads. You will receive 7 wood-fired and 7 porcelain. They won't necessarily be the ones shown, but I will pick out some nice ones. If you are a bead collector or you love to use assorted beads in your designs, then this giveaway is for you.
No question today..... Just leave your name and a contact where I can reach you if you win. I will try to pick the winner by this Sunday evening providing life goes smoothly between now and then. My life has a way of throwing (right now I am trying to recall the word I want to use!!) got it..... A WRENCH INTO THE WORKS!!!
I will contact you personally if you leave a contact. If you don't.... well, sorry about that!
Thanks for reading.