Bead Experiment

  I have fallen in love with putting sprigs on beads and on the stringing holes ( bead caps).  I think it is because I have had a longing to work with metal beads and not had the opportunity.

That is why I decided to begin treating beads as though I were working with silver beads, or silver clay.  I have some silver clay that I have experimented with here and there, but it is expensive. Even though a small amount goes a long way, I have not utilized it in all the ways I’ve thought about doing. 

One day I just decided to pretend my regular clay was silver. What would I do with this clay if it were silver clay?  

 I thought, “I would put bead caps on my ceramic beads of course!” 

Here is but one result of my experimenting. 

Last week I was buying glazes and ran across a ‘brass’ glaze.  I have not yet fired it to cone 04, which is what the directions say.

  However, I did apply that brass glaze to the sprig and beadcaps of this particular bead and fired it to cone 1. 

The piercings were made with the same tool I use to make the stringing hole: my aluminum sock size knitting needle.

The ‘brass’ glaze did not come out like brass because I did not fire it to the cone 04 temperature. But I do like the way it turned out at a higher temperature, a black brown that is a bit shiny.  The ‘shiny’ doesn’t come through well in these photos, however.

The Venetian Red is supposed to be fired to cone 06, but like many of the glazes I use, I have pushed it to a higher temperature.  Most of the low fire glazes can be pushed to a higher temperature. Some may lose a bit of color, but sometimes they will surprise you in a marvelous way.
When the inevitable day comes when you discover your ‘new’ favorite glaze has been discontinued, hopefully you’ll have moved on to a different technique or glaze experiment and it will be no big deal.

That’s what I thought to myself as I gazed at the half filled (or is it half empty?) jar I have left of the newly discontinued Venetian Red.


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