Today I am continuing our postings on Small Kiln Bead Racks.
In the picture above you see 4 pieces of kiln furniture. For small and large kilns, they can be the building blocks of racks for firing beads and pendants. These are called kiln posts and they are used to support shelves for firing ware in a kiln. Used as bead racks, they are used to support the wires that you string your beads on or hang your pendants from. I purchased mine for Axner's Pottery Supply. They are very inexpensive, about 93 cents per post. Shipping can add a lot to the cost so it is a good idea to find a supplier nearby.
This picture shows how you can stack the kiln posts on top of each other.
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 pendants will sag somewhat during the firing. It sags more as you increase your temperature. For an earthenware firing to say cone 06 it will not sag as much as it will to a stoneware firing of cone 5.
In this picture you can see all the levels stacked up. This pic was taken after a cone 5 firing. See how much the wires sagged. But nothing touched the pieces in the row below it. That is because the sag was taken into consideration when the space between the rows was figured. These are small pieces. If they were larger you might want to stack two levels of kiln posts between the beads and pendants to allow for the sag.
The wire I used to string the beads and pendants is Kemper High Temp wire. It is 17 gauge. You can buy it from many ceramic suppliers. Here is a listing for it at Axner's.
I like this method of firing beads and pendants, especially for ones that are not too heavy. It gives me a lot of flexibility and gets a lot of beads in a small kiln.
I hope you will share your favorite ways of firing beads and pendants in the comments below.