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Tool Talk Thursday: Small Kiln Bead Racks Part III

Bead Trees

Bead Trees are commercially made high fire clay racks made for kiln firing ceramic beads.  They look like trees, hence the name and the beads are fired on rods that are hung on the grooves on the sides of the trees.
They can be purchased at clay suppliers.  They come in a variety of shapes.  These are ones I have had for many years.  I use them in my small kiln and large kiln and mostly fire to cone 06 with them ( about 1850 degrees F) but they can be used at higher temps.  They are great for larger hole beads because the rods you purchase for them are much thicker than the high temp wire that we discussed using last post.
The advantage of bead three is that the rods do not sag much at all in the cone 06 firing and the grooves on the sides allow for large and small pieces to be fired on the same tree.

This picture is of the bead tree with the rods, which I usually purchase from  AWhole Lotta Whimsy since they come in the thinner shorter size that I like best for these bead trees. I believe that I use the 11 gauge rods since they work well with the Kemper Clay Saw that I use to clean out the bead wholes with.  I have three of these.

Here the bead tree is loaded up with some large beads.  You can safely put 4 on a rod without a problem of sagging at Cone 06.

In this picture I show you how you can fire both beads and long pendants on the same bead tree without any of them sticking to each other.

You can see a variety of Bead Trees here at Big Ceramic Store.  More next week on some other kinds of bead racks.

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