Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components from our talented and knowledgeable Artisans.

Birth of a ladybug

The object of the project
In today's post we'll try to show you some details about one of our favorite decorating techniques –  Carving. We use this technique, with some variations, on many of our beads and pendants.  We will take you step-by-step through the carving of the bead that you see on left.

Below you see all the tools needed for this project:

The tools for the project
From top to the bottom:
1 - Metallic pen refill
2 - Recycled (up-cycled?) small petal tool made from old radio antenna
3 - Bigger piece from the same antenna, used for the middle part of the daisies
4 - One of our favorite carving knives (started originally as wax carving tool for dental technicians)
5 - The stainless steel tool for the holes of the beads

Smooth round beads
 The first step is to roll a round bead and to make a hole in it.
For more details on making round beads you can check our previous post here

Carving the ladybug

Then let it set for some time (The amount of time is dependent on the temperature and the humidity.).  In general you should start carving  the moment when the bead's surface is hard enough so you have sharp, clean lines, but is also soft enough so the lines will go deep enough. This takes practice, but once you figure the right timing it works pretty good. When we carve the ladybug's outside lines we use only the small carving knife.

In this picture you see how we use a pen refill to make the small dots on the ladybug's wings

The next step is to make the middle part of the daisy with the bigger tube.

Now you see that we started the daisy's petals - The tool we are using was made especially for making those petals.

The last step - again with the pen refill we place one more dot in the middle of the daisy.

Here you see a completed Ladybug and a flower. We will do more design work on this bead so that the design is all the way around the bead, just like the finished bead at the start of this post.

Here are many more of our designs utilizing the same or similar techniques.

We hope this tutorial helps you to understand the steps we take in creating our beads and pendants.  Next month's Muddy Monday post will show and explain how we glaze our pieces.

Vlad & Kremena
Golem Design Studio


  1. Wow - that is a lot of work for each bead! It is amazing how fine the detail is. You are both most definitely very talented!

  2. Incredible!! Amazing!! What expert control you have of your tools and your hands. Truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  3. Your beads are stunning - and so is your technique. No wonder they all appear so full of loving care. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this bead!! Thank you for sharing how you do it!!

  5. OMG!!!! I am so amazed. I thought you were making these from slip molds!!! I am in truly truly impressed!!!

  6. What incredible patience and skill with those little detailed designs. It really is amazing that they're all handcarved so precisely. Fascinating to see the process!

  7. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful!

  8. So this is how you do it! great work and so beautiful Vlad and Kremena, I love it!


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