Egyptian Paste (aka Faience)

Experimenting in all facets of Egyptian paste, mixing clay, construction techniques, firing solutions, and finishing ie. cold working is in the scope of our discussion. Perhaps we will have time to get around to some practical uses of Egyptian paste, but mostly research into what works will with this media and what does not.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

function over beauty

4 section bead rack to hold wires of different lengths
and to maximise kiln space
standard 3 tiered rack - holds about 20 wires
beads drying a little before threading them onto 
their wires
Several people have contacted me in the last week or so asking about how I support my beads whilst they are drying and then during the firing process.  I have custom made bead racks out of earthenware clay to suit both the size of my kiln and the size of the beads I want to fire. Larger beads need more support so need to be on shorter nichrome wires supported at intervals of about 10cm or less. Tiny beads not weighing much can be threaded onto longer 20 - 25cm wires. The racks are not elegant like the ones you would purchase from a ceramic supplies but they are way cheaper and do the job just as well. The beads sit on their wires for about 3-4 days before being fired to around 1040 degrees C. Then with a bit of luck they come out of the kiln transformed from white, dry, unexciting beads to shiny, glossy, gorgeous ones, ready to be designed into jewellery


Blogger anitra said...

Brilliant post, kriket, you have me eagerly awaiting the firing outcome.
Well done! Exactly what I was hoping for when starting this blog years ago; that was to get a dialogue on Egyptian paste, sharing and exploring different ways of approaching Egyptian paste.

The ghost of firings past made its debut on the bottom of your bead rack. The contrast in colors quite remarkable. It's a lovely thing to see. A thin layer of silica sand on the bottom will save your bead-rack but the fallen bead will look like a sugared gumdrop.

Designing our own kiln furniture for Egyptian paste I have to wonder how the ancients did it. Nickel-chrome wire is a relatively modern invention; therefore, they were using something else. I've done some experimenting in this corner; I suppose that's the subject of another post.

Anyway, kudos to you, and keep those posts coming!


1:35 PM  

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