Red Beads Green Beads

Here in North Central Texas we are having a bit of a snow and ice storm. This is post Superbowl 2011, and this is the second one in less than two weeks. 

To celebrate my forced time indoors, I am working on taking beady pictures. These are from the same batch as I’ve showcased in recent blog articles. The body is a porcelain clay and the sprigs are a brown stoneware clay. They sprigs have been pierced with a needle tool  (a sock size knitting needle to be precise).  The beads were fired and a black underglaze was applied with a brush and then sponged off.  The entire bead was glazed with Victorian Red from Mayco and fired again. 

Photographing these beads so they will appear the same way in the photos as in real life is proving difficult.  I am still struggling for an ‘easy’ fix with the green ones. So far I am only able to photograph them outside in natural light.  However, the macro setting on my camera does not allow for anything but  automatic white balance settings.  The manual setting is not available for the macro function. So when the ‘automatic’ white balance function does not work,  the paper appears this lovely shade of lavender.

I am still working to figure a solution.  The easy solution is to not to make any more of the green beads and try a different color such as transparent blue, but I really like this transparent green so I keep trying.

I was having much the same problem with the red beads, too, so eventually if I keep working on this, I hope to figure it out.  Too bad the solution for the red beads would work on the green beads, but it does not.  The solution for the red beads was to move the ‘natural sunlight’ lights back a few inches.  Perhaps I need to move the light back even further for the green beads?  We’ll see … I wonder if my camera is about to croak.  Hmmmm … I sure hope not!   

Coral Beauty Ceramic Bead

This red glaze bounces nicely off the white of the porcelain clay bead body. It combines with the ruddy stoneware sprigs to make the coral reds radiate.

I did not apply black underglaze to these sprigs like I did most of the others.  At first I was not sure I liked this effect but I have come to like it, especially because it does bounce the light in the manner it does.  Using a certain color of clay body to achieve a certain color effect reminds me of painting with watercolors.

Before I was into pottery, painting was my thing and I painted in watercolors. Someday I plan to include a small ‘gallery’ of my paintings on my website.  Someday … there’s that word … but really, someday.  Maybe soon.  Next year?  We’ll see.

Back then I had a large palate of watercolors and took my time working through a book by Nita Leland titled “Exploring Color”. There are 88 exercises in the book and it took me a long time because I kept going back and trying different palette combinations.  If you are an artist and you love color, I highly recommend this book. Not only is it a ton OH fun, you will never forget what you’ve learned.