Monday, April 29, 2013

Beads Do Grow On Trees

It's true!  Ok, sort of.  Please note, I forgot my camera at home when I was unloading the kiln on Friday.  Sorry for the cell phone-quality photos.  Oops!
Anyway, after I've glazed all my bisque they have to be put into the kiln in a manner in which they won't touch one another when firing (or they'll stick).  I have these nifty bead racks and trees that help me with that!  They come with special wires that can withstand REALLY hot temperatures. Up top is a bead rack.  Some people really jam these things full but I prefer to leave enough space to ensure I'm not making any conjoined beads.
This is what they look like when they are loaded into the kiln.  The pieces on the bottom are all unglazed on the back.  They fire directly on the kiln shelf.

This is a bead tree!  See, I didn't lie to you!  Beads DO grow on trees...kind of.
And here is my top shelf.  I typically have more on this shelf but I didn't make as many round beads this time.  You'll notice I could really use a bigger top shelf.  That's on my to-purchase list.

Loading the kiln usually takes over an hour.  It really depends on how many things I'm putting in there.  I try to be as strategic as possible.  Sometimes I load things only to find I could have added more.  Then I take things out, move them around and put them back in.  Sometimes I have epic fail and knock over a few racks when adding another.  It's tedious.

Now you want to know where you can buy these bead racks and bead trees?  I get mine from my local pottery warehouse, Ceramic Supply.  Luckily, I live close enough to drive there but they do ship!  You can also get some special ones made by Marla James, over at Bisque Bead Supply.

And that is how beads grow on trees!

Happy Beading!

Diana P.
Suburban Girl Studio LLC


  1. Thanks for sharing your pictures! Process pictures are some of my favorite.

  2. cool! Can't wait to see what comes out!

    1. Hey Melissa! These are actually the fired pieces. I took the photos while unloading the kiln a few days ago. They are all real boring and pastel looking before they are fired.

  3. Love seeing the results of a successful firing! And! Thanks for the plug too. :-)

  4. I love peeking into other ceramic artists' kilns! I have a little tree forest growing in my kiln right now - actually just finished firing, now cooling. ;)

  5. I love this post Diana! I really enjoy seeing how the rest of the art world "lives". I understand the beads "kissing" thing for sure. I HATE it when I put beads to close in my kiln and they get stuck! Total bummer. You should see the dance that ensues after that happens! I have been known to take them out of the kiln together, BANG them on the tile on my desk top to separate them and then re-melt in the "kiss" spot. Sometimes it works, and others they go to the bead bead bowl in the sky ;) Thanks for sharing your studio with us! xo Genea

  6. I love seeing you you cram all those things into the kiln! I too have experienced stuck beads...which really makes me mad when it happens.

  7. Thank you for letting us peek into your kiln and explaining the process to us. A very interesting adventure.

  8. So interesting Diana! Thank you for a behind the scenes peak!

  9. Thanks for sharing Diane! Great post and pictures! Clay is wonderful! It's an exciting path in creativity! Lovely work!


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