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Natalie's Notes

Marbling Clay For Beads

I thought it would be useful to have a demonstration on how to marble clay. I suggest only watching about 3 minutes of this 9 minute You Tube Video to see how easy it is.  When I make clay for beads I usually use a handful of light colored clay and a half a handful for the dark colored clay. Whatever color of clay you decide to use, only use clays that fire to the same cone temperature.




Here are some sprig decorated rounds that I made from my last batch of marbled clay. Both clays fire to maturity at cone 5.


What I especially like about marbling clay for beads is that whatever glaze is used it always comes out pretty!  There are so many effects depending on how the clay has been marbled. The light contrasts wonderfully with the dark, so transparent glazes are recommended.

 Here are some similar beads which I fired a few weeks back.  This particular glaze "Sapphire Green" is from Mayco, the gloss glaze series. It is extremely transparent.

Before I close this post, I want to share how the beads came out that I demonstrated last month. Here's the link to the original post: Click Here

I dipped these in a watery black underglaze solution. Once they dried, I wiped them off with a sponge, leaving the black in the recesses. Next I glazed in a pale pink glaze from Mayco called "Petal Pink".

Thanks for dropping by!

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful beads, Natalie. I love the marbling effect. Just beautiful.

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    1. Thank you! :) I had done a bit of this a while back and now I'm starting to rethink how to implement this technique into the kind of beads I've been making lately.

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  2. Thanks for posting this! It's ironic because when I was in the studio this morning I thought about marbling some of my brown and white stoneware. Haven't done it yet but I plan on it.

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    1. You should definitely do it. It's a lot of fun!

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  3. Awesome post Natalie! Do you ever use mason stains to color your clay body? I love the look of different layers of clays (was just looking through a polymer clay book in awe of all the stuff you can do with different layers of colored clay & was wondering how you could do similar stuff with ceramic clay).

    Wonderful beads! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Marsha, thanks. Yes, I have used mason stains on porcelain and also in white stoneware and they work great. You can add a little or a lot, depending on how dark you want the clay to be.

      I love polymer clay tutorials. The problem we have in working with ceramic clay is that we have to work fast before the clay dries out!

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