Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pendants .... Galore!!

I started making pendants using the extra slab-rolled pieces of clay that got cut off my baking dishes. So much fun! I think I have a 3 to 4 year inventory. The photos below don't show ALL of them.

Here are a few that are drying.

Some more that have been bisque fired.

I had a disturbing thought one night. I had used copper wire on several of the hearts and wondered, "What is the melting temperature of copper?", as I had planned to use my newly bought bead holder contraption with these pendants in my next cone 10 firing. The melting point of copper is 1981 deg. F., so cone 10 was out of the question. Raku firing these was the alternative plan .... Yay! I love to raku and couldn't wait to begin.

I glazed the pieces and used the two baskets I had built for little pieces like these. Originally they served quite well to fire my raku whistles.

This one is made of a couple layers of metal mesh -- I think it was called hardware cloth. Would it go through one more firing?

This one is made from metal parts and held together with nuts and bolts. Both baskets have nichrome wire for the handle, allowing the tongs to lift the basket from the kiln to the can safely.

I got my can ready with strips of newspaper and a little bit of sawdust.

I got my raku tongs ready, along with long raku gloves and my face shield that protects me when I open that 1800 deg. F. kiln door. This shield was such a good purchase. It has a protective coating of gold that is heat tolerant. You honestly don't feel heat through it!

Well, the firings went sooo well, but the wire mesh basket fell apart in the raku can. Luckily it waited until then and not as it was being lifted out of the kiln! So I can't show you that after-photo of pendants. But the metal basket held together fine and here's a photo of those pieces. The copper wire was beautiful. I decided to make some more pendants using steel wire so that I could use my new bead holder in the cone 10 firing. But after I finished them, I decided to raku them too. The steel wire turned black, but I like the way it looks.

I'm looking forward to finishing a few of these pieces with leather cords and chains, maybe some swirls and lampwork beads. I'll post a few as soon as I can. But first -- Cooking delicious recipes for Thanksgiving is first on the agenda. Then on Friday and Saturday, while the weather is in the mid-70's, glazing for my cone 10 firing is second on the agenda.

Everyone, have a most wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Hope you get to enjoy it with family and friends.

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