Once the clay has been formed and slowly dried, I take a dental tool and clean any sharp edges. The clay is now extremely fragile, and this is often where I break pieces. So many beads never make it to the kiln!
In this kiln load, the beads may touch. I pile them in, working to fill the kiln as much as possible. They will reach ~1800 degrees F, so that's quite a lot of energy that is being spent. The kiln must slowly reach that temperature and then lower - no rushing allowed!
What is a kiln? A kiln is like a large toaster. They can be as large as a room (we see these often in Japan) or very small like mine, which can hold approximately two loaves of bread. Most artists use a kiln like mine as a test kiln for glazes.
Here is an image of beads loaded in the kiln, called greenware:
This image is after the beads are finished, called bisque:
Leave a comment