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Single Fired Ceramics Part II

Single Fired Buttons by Vika  
Last week on Tool Talk Thursday, I focused on the option of firing ceramic beads, buttons and pendants just one time instead of the usual bisque and glaze firing.  This week I wanted to show you some pictures of some Single Fired work.  We begin with an assortment of buttons by one of our blog authors, Victoria Cochran, known as Vika on Etsy, who has been doing the single fired technique for the past year.  She uses stoneware and porcelain clay.  I am so impressed by the wonderful results she is getting.  Not to mention the fact that she does fabulous work. 

Single Fired beads by MartiC

Marti C made these lovely feather beads from a stoneware clay body and fired them only once.  She tells me she makes them much as any other beads:

"I roll out the clay the usual way,  I measure to make them a similar size by just using a cut out and then I shape them by hand by rolling between the palms of my hands, or pinch them with my fingers to a bicone shape. I usually poke a water soaked, round toothpick through them for the hole, or use a straw to cut out the hole, depending of course, what size hole I want them to be.

Pendants and flat beads are laid out to dry on ceiling squares that absorb the water from the clay and can be covered with another ceiling tile.
After they dry, I use a wet sponge to take off the rough edges.
After that is all done, I glaze them, usually two coats, and hang them to fire in the kiln and hope for the best.
This white batch of clay is Laguna B Mix and the speckled clay is Laguna as well, from Byesville, Ohio."

a recent kiln load of single fired beads by Marti C.  Fired to Cone 6.  You can see more of her gorgeous work on her Etsy Shop

Clearly the Single Fired  process is  within the range of anyone accustomed to making ceramic beads.  The glazes used are commercial in the examples I have shown.

Single Fired Fibula by Vika

Buttons by Vika  The  Doors of Tripoli

If you want to read more about contemporary potters who are using the Single Fire technique you can check out this discussion on the Electric Cone 6 Mid-Fire Potters group here . Thank you Victoria  for this link info.


  1. Wonderful examples and beautiful beads and pendants! Love the once fired technique!

  2. Marti, your purple and blue feather design pieces are some of the prettiest pieces I've seen you do. Lovely color combination and a nice pattern too. Good Job.

  3. I've been waiting to see the results of this and they're stunning. Thanks for sharing, I'm definately going to do some testing!

  4. Those are wonderful! I'm going to have to try that. I'm always afraid that I'm too rough and will break the greenware. I'm not know for being smooth.....

  5. Why waste the electricity/gas! All of my firings are single as well! The greenware is a bit tougher than you'd expect! Lovely pendants and buttons!

  6. So this is an interesting idea. That I know nothing about of course! Can this be done if you only fire to cone 05? or should it only be for higher firings? Just curious!

  7. Thank you, Mary... such a nice surprise & presentation.

    Marti...you nailed yellow & in combo. I find yellow options difficult at mid-range & below, especially in combination with textiles (buttons!). I'm still working on it.

    I always have students break some greenware, purposefully. It's a learning experience: they find out exactly how much pressure it takes--their hands learn from the experience.

    Yes, you can do this for cone 05, too!

  8. Thank you for the info - I have always wondered how certain ceramic beads are made - there are no classes around here for ceramic beads, only large ceramic pieces which I'm not necessarily interested in doing!

  9. Thanks Marti for sharing. I am wondering if this will work on low fire earthenware beads. What are you hanging them on in the kiln? Is it just bead racks? I am finding the thinner bead wires that fit toothpick size holes tend to sag.


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