In this post we'll try to explain our way to fighting one of the common studio challenges - arranging the glazed beads, pendants, etc, in the kiln, in the most effective and safe way.
Let me start from the beginning - as boy, in the middle of the '80's, I was totally addicted to computer games, especially to Tetris (everybody remembers it, I hope :-). Later I played a lot of the 3D version of it called Blockout . It looks to me now that the hundreds of hours spent playing those games was not that useless - I think there are a lot of similarities between the challenge in the games and the glaze kiln arranging.
This is the current equipment that we are using. Here you can see tutorial about the "Bead Box". The wires that you see in front are Kanthal A1 wire. Each piece is 85mm long, 2.5 mm thick. This is the size that with many trials and errors we figured to be the best compromise between length and thickness for our work.
The top row - 7 wires, 4 round beads each. Important detail - it's good idea to glue the wires on the top, this way when moving the boxes to the kiln you're sure that they won't move. You can use whatever kind of glue, just be sure that it burns without leaving any leftovers.
OK, the boxes are loaded, let start putting them in the kiln. In this firing I'll put total of 9 boxes in the kiln. Here you can see the first floor - 6 boxes. 3 of them are with attached small bits on the sides, so I'll be able to put on the top of them 3 more boxes. Do you see the pendants hanging between the boxes?
With this post we are closing the circle about our studio experience as ceramic bead artists - First we started with post about why we make beads, then there was post about how we shape our beads, later post about our favorite carving techniques, then post about how we are glazing our work, and now about the firing.
We'll be happy if you give us some ideas about what you want to see in the next posts, questions and requests are warmly welcome!
Have a great summer!
Golem Studio's team