Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting Ready for a Bead Firing

Yesterday I glazed these and this is what they look like while they are drying. Before they are completely dried, I take them off. If I wait too long, the glaze dries too much and falls off when I remove them from the skewer.

All these beads have three coats of glaze. The first two coats are a pink underglaze. Most of this color will fire out in the 2124 degree firing. On top of the pink underglaze is a clear gloss glaze. Each skewer has to be rinsed off afterward and set to dry.

On my list of things to do today was to sort through these, throw out the ones which are becoming brittle and sort them into two sizes. I am thinking it is time to go back to the welding store and buy more rods. Most of these have just about had it

Here are some of the beads on their rods. I have three colors going into this batch of beads: pinks, light purples, and cobalt blues. Most of the alphabet beads which I talked about in an earlier blog article are in this batch. However, they did not all fit. They have been set aside and will make it into the next firing.

The bead kiln sits outside in my ventilated laundry room on top of a dryer. Tomorrow I will go into more detail about how they are loaded and have photos of what each layer looks like. I'll also be able to show how this batch turns out. If I loaded it correctly the kiln posts will not topple. If I loaded it correctly, no beads will melt together. If If If ... it's always about the 'if'.


  1. Is that just regular MIG wire you are using? I have been going crazy trying to find something to use for my beads. If I can get wire from a welding supply it will make it all so much easier!
    By the way, your beads are beautiful!

  2. Thank you for your kind comments. I'm so glad you like my beads.

    I get the rods from a welding supply store near me. They are stainless steel. The melting point of stainless steel is higher than cone 10. It is a much less expensive alternative than high fire wire. Plus, you can get these in any thickness you want. I like the very thin rods.

    Oh, and I've used these so many times they are almost as thin as wire now ...

  3. Thank you very much for the info. I have a bunch of beads ready for the kiln as soon as I get the wire this weekend.