Moretti Glass Rods Add Glamour to a Ceramic Necklace
Courtesy of Jennifer Heynen, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
Materials and Tools:
low-fire white clay
high temperature wire
Moretti glass rods
18- and 22-gauge sterling silver wire
round nose pliers
didymium safety glasses
Steps: Ceramic Beads
1. Roll out clay into a thin slab using a rolling pin.
2. Cut out shapes in the clay using a needle tool.
Cut a large circle with a hole in the middle (donut shape) for the large pendant.
Cut five triangles, five squares and five smaller circles.
Remove the excess clay and smooth the edges of each shape using your fingers.
3. Cut high temperature wire into 1-inch pieces. Bend one end into a loop using round nose pliers. Cut two wires for each bead.
4. Insert the non-looped end of each wire into the center of the edge of each bead shape. Insert another wire into the opposite edge of each bead shape.
5. Lay the shapes between two plaster wallboards to dry flat for about two days.
6. Bisque-fire the beads at 2000 degrees for approximately eight hours.
7. Paint the beads with underglazes in desired colors. Use pliers to hold the wire (which were inserted into the beads in step #4) while painting. Let dry.
8. Paint the beads with two coats of clear glaze. Let dry.
9. Load the beads onto wire racks in the kiln and glaze fire.
Steps: Lampwork Beads
1. Turn on the torch and vent.
2. Heat an orange glass rod in the torch flame to a molten state.
3. Twirl the glass onto a heated mandrel. Flatten the bead using mashers.
4. Add bumps or stripes with different colored glass rods.
5. Put the bead into a fiber blanket to cool. Continue making enough beads for the necklace.
1. Lay out the necklace alternating glass beads and ceramic beads.
2. Connect the ceramic and glass beads together with 18-gauge wire.
3. Make a wirework clasp and attach to each end of the necklace.