Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components from our talented and knowledgeable Artisans.
Wondering about High Temp Wire? Wondering how we use it in our Ceramic pieces? Check out these archived posts and learn what you need and how to do it.

Beads of Clay Blog: Tool Talk Thursday High Temp Wire
 Use the 17 gauge wire to string beads in your kiln for firing. It is important to weight these wires down as they do sag. The higher the kiln temp the greater the sag. For a cone 06 firing your can even just use a bead tree with just ... http://www.blog.beadsofclay.org/2011/05/tool-talk-thursday-high-temp-wire.html

Third Friday: Cone 6 Glazes - Firing Methods

This month, instead of focusing on some glaze test results, I thought it might be a good time to talk a bit about how I work around the sagging rod issue with a lot of commercially available bead trees and high temperature wire when firing to ... 

 Tool Talk Thursday: How Did You Do That?..High Temp Wire Revist 

 I use High Temp Stamen Wire 24 gauge as seen in the picture above. It is made by Kemper and available from most ceramic supply stores. I will include a list of sources at the end of the tutorial. This wire is good for Cone 6 ... http://www.blog.beadsofclay.org/2012/01/tool-talk-thursday-how-did-you-do.html

Tool Talk Thursday: Small Kiln Bead Racks Part II 

This picture shows how I stacked wires with pendants strung on them. Each level provides weights on the wire for the row below it. This is very important since the high temp wire you will be using to string your beads and ...http://www.blog.beadsofclay.org/2010/09/tool-talk-thursday-small-kiln-bead.html

A lovely sunflower is uncapped. Next, I lift it out and smooth any rough edges. Next it is time to attach a wire to the pendant. This is a high fire wire (also known as High Temperature Wire) which is fired along with the pendant.

.......4) slip 5) stamps to create your design with 6) high temp wire around 20 or 22 gauge 7) wire cutters, pliers and round nose pliers 8) paint brush for smoothing 9) cookie cutters and plastic wrap if desired. 10) hole cutter 11) clay.

If you use wire you should be sure to put a piece of kiln furniture on top of the notches to prevent the wire from sagging too much. Here is the rack ... Here is a birds eye view of the rack with the 11 gauge high temp rods. This is ...


Garlic Keeper: bisque at cone 04, glazed at cone 06 using Stroke and Coat glaze

According to Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become and expert at anything.

 I think when it come to Ceramics I would add, and also 10,000 experiments and 10,000 mistakes. I'll be sharing some of mine with you in this blog post.

Work Of Our Hands Beads made in Namibia 

Knowing my time in the USA would be longer this year , I was determined to search until I found a product to fix the production troubles I was having with my woman's bead making project in Africa.  We had been using underglaze with a clear glaze top coat, but having many problems with the clear top coat.

Reading about Mayco's Stroke and Coat ® intrigued me because it was described as sort of an underglaze, but not needing a clear coat on top.

At first the product did not seem very versatile, because it's rather thick, and takes 3 coats. I was used to underglaze which can be thinned down to act like water colors and can produce incredible detail, I didn't think I could get the effects I wanted with Stroke and Coat. 
Then, I started to explore and found that it is actually extremely versatile. And indeed the "Wonder Glaze" they claim it is.
I will tell you now about my discoveries. 

Paint on your 3 base coats and then use a contrasting color to stencil or screen print on top of the base color.


On these pieces I painted 2 coats of Ivory and 1 coat of Cracker Jack Brown, then while the brown was still wet, I dabbed on some other colors,( green , dark brown, and orange) This gave me some subtle color variation.


Here I painted my 3 coats of base color, then put the contrast colors in squeeze bottles. Which I got here.
It's even more dimensional if you do 2 coats of design.

As long as you have 3 coats of base color you can thin down Stroke and Coat to a watery consistency for the last coat and wash over all or part of your piece.

Here's a combination of colors and washes


As you may know, for Majolica you paint over a glaze. With Stroke and Coat, just paint on your 3 base coats and then add your detail painting on top. For the detail painting I only used 1 coat of glaze. Note: Mayco recommends using their foundations line for the base coats, but I didn't have any so I used the Stroke and Coat® and in some instances I used transparent glaze as a base.

Cup with base coat of clear glaze and Stroke and Coat on top.

Stroke and Coat is suppose to work up to cone 6
(but they recommend firing at cone 06.) All the items above were fired at
 cone 06.

Lets see how it does at cone 6:

 I was very pleased with the color at cone 6 
These samples have 3 coats of glaze.

Here is Stroke and Coat over cone 6 porcelain. I base coated each with clear glaze and then used 1 coat of Stroke and Coat. In some cases I like the water color look, in others not ! Worst of all, I lost my lettering at cone 6. The bottom of the bird cage said FLY.

This bowl was a real disaster. I stamped on the flower design and outlined with Mayco's Designer Liner. The Designer Liner is suppose to go to cone 6 but it also seems to spread at cone 6.

In summary and in my opinion, the glaze got an A+ at cone 06 and at cone 6  just know you will not get dimension or much detail but you should get great color. 
One more detail I forgot to mention earlier, but all these pieces that I am not so happy with, can be reglazed with Stroke and Coat. I was very happy to discover that Stroke and Coat sticks very well to previously glazed beads and can give them new life !

Now I just have to see how much Stroke and Coat will fit in our suitcases and save my $ for that extra bag !
 See more about our project at www.workofourhands.blogspot.com and find some of our beads at valsceramicgarden  ETSY

How to Make a Beads of Clay Treasury

Create an Etsy Treasury with Beads of Clay Members Items

( this was written with complete beginners in mind...hence the details and length...it's really very easy!)

Open two Browser windows or tabs.
Have the other window open to www.etsy.com
From the Etsy home page click on the >TREASURY link in the lower left column “More way to shop”
Once on the Treasury page click on > CREATE A LIST…top right
You should see this:

You don’t need to title your Treasury right away, nor write a description. Wait for the inspiration after you have explored the BOC shops and found the items to include in your Treasury.
Go to your browser winndow that has the BOC Marketplace shops open.
RIGHT Click on the shop NAME you want to start with, a little pop-up will appear so you can select “Open page in new window”.
Explore the shop listings until you find one you want to add to your Treasury. 

Highlight the URL of that listing by clicking once on the URL. ( it should be highlighted in blue)
Copy the URL ( “ctrl” & “c)
Go back to the browser window with your Blank Treasury page and your cursor should already be flashing in the next available spot to add a listing. Hit “ctrl”& “v” to PASTE the url into the treasury. Then hit “OK”. And that item will appear!

Keep going back to various BOC shops to find listings, copy & paste them anywhere in your Treasury. You can rearrange them by dragging them around to a new spot. (Click, hold, drag)

Add Tags ( in the “tags” window on the right. Separate by commas):
Be sure to include:
BOC etsy team, BeadsofClay, Beads of Clay, ( you can copy and paste right from this document)
Add your title and description. It would be nice to include the URL for the BOC Marketplace page in your description to encourage viewers to visit all the shops. ( Elaine Ray does not have an etsy shop so she can not be included in any Treasuries)

Click on SAVE.
 Copy the URL of your Treasury and post it on the BOC, CBC&AW Facebook page, your own FB page and anywhere else it may get seen (twitter etc). You can also email the link to all those included, but if they check their shop “activity” regularly it will show up there.

Have fun, be creative, try a theme ( motif, color, shape, season,).  &Try not to repeat shops within your Treasury
Or try etsy’s Treasury tutorial here: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/82