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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ceramics used in a necklace

This little fellow is a recent creation from my kiln. The glaze and conditions in the reduction chamber control the coloring. Its started with an even glaze painted over the head and the kiln god does the rest....always a surprise in raku.

Collecting these dolls is fun. Finding all the variations that have been made over the last 160 years is impossible but as the archaeologists dig and sell more and more styles emerge. I am learning to copy some of the more interesting examples by making plaster molds and casting in liquid clay called slip. The level of detail is much higher than a push mold can give.

Once you obtain interesting pieces of ceramic for jewelry making the second stage of creativity kicks in..just like when you buy a great focal or a new stamping. In my case I decided to create a bronze piece for this small scarab from my friend Dorcas at http://www.etsy.com/shop/wondrousstrange?ref=top_trail She is a masterful maker of beautiful raku. I had some raku beads the Dorcas made and added some agate beads which echo the color of the scarab and contrast well against the bronze.

the raku beads are a fusion of metallic color and matte texture that I find interesting. I choose brown rayon cord for the necklace but find it is a little rough about the neck so I may change it out in favor of some silk or sari ribbon. Simple knots restrain the beads as a side station.

A closeup of the pendant shows the high shine in the beaten metal and hint at the fascinating part of this piece..a dapped depression behind the scarab polished to a mirror shine and reflecting the top of the scarab. It resembles a reflector from an oil lamp. The agate beads are held up on paddle pins that allow them to move and make tinkling sounds on the bronze shape. The contrasting textures and colors give a lot of interest to this necklace.


  1. As always..I love how you have used my raku. And more important...I love how you have taken to your new raku work. This is another wonderful raku face...the colors are splendid and bright and dance in the light:)

  2. Love the necklace and love your raku bead.