Monday, March 10, 2008


...from the Nice Ideer/Bad Reality department:

I had a great weekend of bead-making - I made a couple hundred beads, which is enough for a new necklace design I'm making for a Texas artist show my work is going to be in next month.

It's funny what fatigue will do to one's brain.

After spending a lot of the weekend on the torch, I had 5 mandrels left on which to make beads before I was going to start the annealing process in my kiln. Standing there, kind of tired and slightly demented, I thought of the Navajo horse-hair pottery (fired with horse hair which imprints burning-hair designs on the clay as it is fired) and thunk "why not a horse hair bead?" Not having a horse handy, I took a few hairs from an obliging hairbrush. Especially because I'm using an ivory glass for this design, and mixing my beads with turquoise and coral, the idea of having the smoky, coiled lines on the beads seemed especially apropos.

Well.

Um, I think I would have had different results if I'd put the hair on the molten beads, but I let them cool just slightly so I wouldn't have to worry about re-shaping them. Now my garage smells of burning hair, and when I took them off the mandrels, the charred hair wiped right off.

Nice. A stinky garage for nothing. Me and my bright ideas.

Hey- maybe I should try the dog's nail clippings?

6 comments:

hoosierboy said...

That pottery is way cool. I have never seen that before.

Breda said...

I think it works on the pottery because the firing is a gradual increase of temperature - the hair burns and smokes slowly, allowing the porous clay to absorb the color. The hot glass might work too quickly.

Attila The Mom said...

There's nothing quite like the smell of burning hair.....arrrgghh!

Buck said...

Nice. A stinky garage for nothing. Me and my bright ideas.

Well... ya never know until ya try, eh? Experience is the BEST teacher.

JR said...

So now you are going to have to tell us which arts festival you will be showing in next month.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

beautiful. Really cool. love it. Hope it works out on a small scale.