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!
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