Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clay, Glaze or Beads?

We arrived in Florida the weekend of the Daytona 500, so we watched the Good Year blimp overhead from the backyard on it's way to the Speedway for the start of the big race, and watched it again as it headed out of town. 

Usually when we go to Florida for vacation, I mail myself some clay ahead of time, so I don't go through withdrawals.  Call me crazy, but my idea of an ideal vacation is some time at the beach, catching up with friends, not cooking, and playing with clay! Before we left this year, I couldn't decide if I wanted to work with clay, glaze or beading, so I mailed myself all three.  

First I photographed the beautiful batch of beads my bead soup swap partner Betty sent me, since I didn't have a chance before I left.  It's rare that the sun comes out in the winter in NH when I actually have time to spend taking photos, so thankfully the Florida sun didn't disappoint.  Now I just need to take the time to figure out what I'm going to make with Betty's soup.  We're in the 3rd reveal which is April 13th.
Then, the question was, clay or glaze?  Usually that's not an issue, because clay is all I have on hand down there, but this year I poured a little of each of my favorite cone 6 glazes in plastic to-go containers. Just the right size for transport, and shipped them off.
As the blimp flew overhead, I unpacked the glazes, and was happy to see that with the help of some tape and bubble wrap, the lids stayed on nicely.  Playing with clay is usually my first choice, since it's more fluid and not as meticulous as glazing, but since I never make enough time to glaze, this would be a good time for it.
I focused primarily on stoneware and porcelain seashore pendants, and some matching coins, and beads.  I also glazed a few shank buttons I made recently to see how those would turn out.

Unfortunately I overloaded the kiln, and a dozen or so pieces collided during the firing. I was unable to save a few of them that fused together. This pendant and bead combo reminds me a little of Mickey Mouse.
 Fortunately most of the pieces turned out fine,
and I've been listing them in my Etsy shop.  I'm glad I took the time to glaze, and next year I'll have my little containers awaiting me in Florida for the next batch.  Now, I need to get stirring my bead soup!!


  1. Lovey as know I'm a big to just get some shows under my belt so I can order some for sharing....

  2. Do you have a kiln there too? Very pretty colors.

  3. Thanks so much. Yes, I did get a little digital jewelry kiln for there last year. I'm still trying to figure out how to program it. I'm used to my cone sitter on my manual kiln here in NH.

  4. Great beads! I’m part of the bead soup party. Looking forward to the reveals. I'm now following you. I have a new blog. Please consider following my jewelry blog. Thanks.