Friday, August 14, 2015

Electric vs. Wood-fire Beads GIVEAWAY

by MaryAnn Carroll

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. 

50 comments:

Kathy Lindemer said...

I would love to win your beads. I found the information about the wood fired beads enlightening. The wood firing gives them a very earthy appearance which appeals to me. baymoondesign@gmail.com

Karine Peyrot said...

Yeah Great !!! I am fond of your work. I am from France near Bordeaux and would like to have the ability to create such lovely beads. Thank you for your fantastic offer.

Karine

Cheapskate Chronicles said...

I'd love to have some of your beads! Gayle Coleman gayleforsale@gmail.com

Karen Z said...

Love your description of the process.! Karen Z tnk2000@roadrunner.com

Linda said...

I'd love to see a wood firing!!! I've just got a little test kiln, but am having fun with it. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! llandig@msn.com

Niki Black said...

These are beautiful. Hope I win! Niki Black niki.black@mycase.com Thanks!

Gale said...

I still have a few from your bead-making days....and would love a chance to get more! Hope you get back to selling soon.

Karen Moore said...

Beautiful Beads
Karen Moore
frostycreek@yahoo.com

Terry Ricioli said...

Wow, what a nice offer. I would love to have some of your beads to use in my jewelry making - or just hold and admire! Contact me at trcrafts@aol.com
Thanks,
Terry

Alice said...

Your beads are beautiful. I would love to win some.

Deb Fortin said...

I love the colours in your beads , there is something so calm and grounding about turquoise and brown together. I dabbled in pottery making once (took a 6 week course and decided that discipline is not within my talent range . but I love ceramic beads so please pick me (mister random generator)

deb4tin (at) gmail (dot) com

Jill Bradley said...

Sign me up for your drawing! I love your jewelry and beads! Jillrbradley@gmail.com

Shaiha said...

I would love to toss my name in the hat. I have some of your beads from years back that I am still hoarding.

Shaiha said...

Oops. I forgot my email. It's blogbaby@comcast.net.

Julie Panusis said...

Julie Panusis
jpcatmeow@yahoo.com

Juliette Williams said...

I absolutely adore your beads, and love using them whenever possible. :)

Sandy said...

Oooo, such a generous giveaway! Your beads are all lovely. If I win I'll be sure to give you a shout out on my blog & such. :-) You can reach me at sandysewin@gmail.com.

Mary Redman said...

Thank you for such a generous giveaway.
Mary
maryredman@gmail.com

Cindi said...

I've always admired your beads from afar. To own some would be incredible !!!

Cindi Thomas

MuttiLouthomas@gmail.com

lakesuperiorwaves said...

beads, did someone say beads? i love beads! kltaskeyloghome@tds.net

sharon said...

Your beads are gorgeous, would lovre to be able to use them in my jewelry!
Sharon
sjbborsavage@verizon.net

Bijoux Gems Joy said...

Fascinating beads and a generous offer. Thanks so much
Mona Arnott
bijouxgemsjoy@gmail.com

freshbakeddesigns said...

Thank you so much, Mary Ann! Loved reading about the challenges and joys of working with kilns. And your great giveaway!

john hutchens said...

john hutchens
cooladam1 at live dot com

Anonymous said...

Love them all! Sharlyn Premuda
Contact at: sharlyngp@yahoo.com

Sharlyn Premuda said...

Love them all! Sharlyn Premuda
Contact at: sharlyngp@yahoo.com

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! You're working with my favourite colours......amdesaulniers at rogers dot com

Emily D said...

Beautiful beads. I've admired your work for some time. Oddebitz@aol.com

Emily D said...

Beautiful beads. I've admired your work for some time. Oddebitz@aol.com

Lucia Tremont said...

Your wood-fired beads are beautiful! Ciaoluciat@gmail.com

Susan Swan said...

I would love to have your beautiful beads!
And I'd be glad to promote your work on my blog and FB!
Susan
susan@susanswan.com
rocksandpaperswans.etsy.con

OnMyPawz said...

So generous of your time! Thank you =)

Jaqui J

bugrocksthehouse@gmail.com

Leanne said...

I would love to use your breads for my bracelets!! Thanks for the giveaway.
Leanne Loftus ldoyleloftus@yahoo.com

Maria Rosa Sharrow said...

What a fantastic giveaway. I love your beads. The wood fired one's especially. Thanks for the chance to win.
Joeymoma93@yahoo.com

Christine said...

Your beads are beautiful! It makes me smile to think of you and your husband creating together! Would love to win!
christineseverson1@gmail.com

Sasha Crow said...

I sat for a while, trying to decide which of the two types of beads I like the best so I could comment about them but I can't decide. I love the whimsical color combinations on the mid-fire beads --- but then the ash-fired (makes me want to try this!) appeal to me because of their rustic earthiness - which works well in my designs.

Lucky for me, if I win, I won't have to decide which:)

sasha.crow(at)gmail.com

Heather said...

I loved reading about how you fire your beads, I never knew anything about how they were made so it was very interesting. And I would love to win your beads they are beautiful. Heather my email is hrdavis24@yahoo.com

Lynn said...

Thank you for a very interesting article---all your beads are just gorgeous and I love the colors you chose. I would love to win some of those goodies and I do hope you will get back to selling them. Thanks for the opportunity! :) (lecarling@verizon.net)

Rachel Mallis said...

These are beautiful! I love that you can play around with different kilns. I didn't know about that! So cool!
Rachel Mallis
Mint.sisters@gmail.com

jean Carl said...

Wow, your beads are gorgeous!!!! Would love to create something super awesome if they....if I win, OMG or if I loose, it was meant to be...lol...Thanks for such a generous give away...Jean g.carl@myactv.net

. said...

Hi,
The wood fired beads are my favorite; so organic with beautiful colors! Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.
Alix
nomdeplume106@gmail.com

Gemmie said...

Love all of your beads, they are just lovely! Gemmie@ redleslie1@aol.com

jean Carl said...

Think I left comment on another project.....oops....Your beads are gorgeous and would make any piece of jewelry awesome....I could think of a 100 projects to do with them...any, I'm Jean g.carl@myactv.net..thanks so much for sharing your talent...

Diane (Dewdrop Designs) said...

I am a former header new to metalsmithing and would LOVE to use some of your beautiful beads in my metalwork. Dewdropdesigns90@gmail.com

Cory Tompkins said...

Oh that last picture has some yummy colors! Thanks for a chance to win.
Cory
tealwaterdesigns@gmail.com

Wendy said...

I am a mixed media artist and your beads would be a wonderful addition to my jewelry. designedwet@yahoo.com

Alicia said...

OH, my, those are absolutely gorgeous beads you make!
Thank you for the opportunity to win them :)
alicia[dot]marinache[at]gmail[dot]com

Lauren Huber said...

I hope it's not too late to enter! These are lovely!

cairncrazy222@yahoo.com

stregajewellry said...

You ARE lucky to have a husband who wood fires and gives you that extra option. All of those beads are beautiful and what a great giveaway! I'd like to win. my email is Stregajewellry@yahoo.com

Carolyn said...

Love your beads. Hopefully I am too late to get in the drawing.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

face
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...