how a pendant is born, part 2

last time i showed you how i craft my stamp designs, and how those get imprinted in the wet clay to form pendants.

after that initial firing, those dull grey pieces come out something like this:

next, it’s time to glaze.

i start out  glazing the front with anywhere from 2 to 4 glaze colours. i like to play with the colour combinations, because the chemical interactions between the different glazes sometimes give interesting and unexpected results. i’ve glazed the piece below in dark red and saffron, a combination i’ve used many times before. one of the awkward things about glazing is that it’s not at all like painting, even though it feels exactly the same. the glazes melt and change drastically in the kiln, thanks to the crazy chemical reactions that occur when you heat stuff up to 1800°. as a result, you can never really tell how a piece is going to come out. there’s a certain amount of experimentation and a certain amount of blind faith in every piece :)

now i do a clear glaze on the back. yes, it looks green. no, i promise it will come out clear. this is part of the blind faith thing i mentioned. clear glazes generally have dye added to them so you can see where you’ve applied them. the dye burns off in the extreme temperatures of the kiln.

finally, each glazed piece gets  hung on my fancy schmancy bead rack, which then goes into the kiln. the process for magnets is much the same, but the backs don’t get glazed, and there are no holes, so i just lay them on the bottom of the rack.

next time, i’ll show you how i assemble the finished pendants :)

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