search  current discussion  categories  glazes - cone 4-7 

glass beads on cone 5 pottery.(somewhat long)

updated sun 25 jul 99 on sat 24 jul 99


Do you want the glass beads to form during the firing, or do you want to add
beads to your ware, after firing the glaze? If you want to fire glass onto
pottery during the firing, this can be done, but must be done carefully. I
recommend that you try it on a "test pot" first. I also recommend that you
also find some discarded kiln shelves, which are saturated with kiln wash, to
place the pots upon, in the kiln. This way, you protect your kiln and
valuable kiln shelves from damage, due to glass that flowed too freely.

I have fired wares to both cone 6 oxy and cone 10 reduction, using scrap
glass pieces, either as a substitute for glaze, or as a "glaze additive." My
results have been mixed--some of the glass beaded on the side of an object,
but did so in the wrong place. Caveat: there is virtually no control over
where glass beads may form, when glass is melted in a ceramic kiln. My best
results from mixing glass and glaze have been when I applied the glass on the
inside bottom of a vessel or other enclosed object.

On the other hand, using a suitable adhesive to "stick" a formed glass bead
onto a fired pot, may be an easier job.

If you decide to fuse your glass while firing, use clean, small pieces of
bottle glass (try colored glass, for variety). I usually add the glass to the
wares after the ware is in the kiln. Be careful not to "spill" glass onto the
kiln shelves or other wares in the kiln! Fire your wares slowly, to aid in
the fusion of glass to clay. Also avoid rushing the cool-down, once the kiln
has reached the point of "cone bend." A fast cool-down will produce cracks
and crazing of the glass surface, and may lead to a bead breaking off the
pot, once the pot is cool enough to touch. Watch for melted slag--glass which
flowed beyond the pot--when unloading the kiln. The slag may be jagged, and

Good luck while making your beads!

Milton NakedClay@AOL.COM