All my beads start from a lump of wet clay. I use an assortment of techniques to make them; slabs, molds, hand-forming, etc... Once I've made a bead I let it dry for a few days. This unfired clay is known as greenware.
When I have a large pile of greenware ready, I sit down and sponge them so the edges will be nice and smooth.
And that's how my raku beads are born!