- Porcelain clay
- Knife (optional)
- Piercing tool
- Bead rack
Porcelain clay is used in making porcelain beads. Porcelain clay is a white, translucent clay that is smooth, making it suitable for beads. You can find porcelain clay wherever ceramic clays are sold. Make porcelain beads with your hands or make them with a mold. Make different shapes with cookie cutters, use molds that are designed for beads or use your hands. Porcelain beads can be strung for necklaces and bracelets.
Take a small amount of the porcelain clay and shape the bead. This can be a round bead or oblong bead. If you are using a mold, place the wet clay into the mold. Let the porcelain clay harden to a leather-like stage. When the porcelain clay is leather-hard, remove the clay and trim off excess, if needed.
Make a hole in the bead. Decide how you want the bead to hang: vertically or horizontally. Take the piercing tool, a needle, or any item that will pierce your clay. Pierce the bead from one end, all the way through to the other end. Pierce all the beads you have made.
Leave beads plain or carve a design into your bead, if you want. Once your design is complete, air-dry the beads thoroughly. The beads needs to be dry inside and outside
Fire your bead. This will be a bisque firing; your clay is fired without any glazes applied to the bead. Open your kiln and place your bead holder in the kiln. This is an accessory onto which your beads are strung and which will stop the beads from touching each other. String your beads on the rod or rods and place the rod in the holder. If you do not have a bead holder, you can place your beads on a prepared kiln shelf for firing.
Prepare the kiln for firing. Close the door and program the kiln for a slow firing. This will be cone 05, which is 1891 degrees F. After kiln has reached this temperature, cool the kiln down gradually until it gets to room temperature. Remove beads from the kiln. You are now ready to decorate your beads.
Always use safety measures when using kiln. Always use safety measures when using clay.