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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Goddess Beads

I have been experimenting with Goddess Beads. These are a quite popular type of bead based on various goddess, but mostly the Venus of Wilendorf. It is believed that the beads were made by women in rituals related to fertility.

After several failed attempts to fashion something that I found even remotely pleasing I decided to try 'pulling' the clay. For those of you that are experienced with pottery making, this is how you make handles for mugs etc.

One of the reasons I went for pulling was that porcelain dries and cracks really quickly - and with the weather being so hot and dry when I was making them it was proving a thankless task to hand mould them.

So small lumps of clay were roughly shaped and then pulled/coaxed into shape over a bowl and using liberal amounts of water. They were then left to stiffen up a little and the breasts were applied and moulded in and the details sgrafitto'ed in with a pointy tool.

Fired then tumbled. The tumbling taks off almost all the making marks etc, and some of the detail. The result is silky smooth and warm. Glazes put such a hard and brittle barrier between you and the clay. Though I may well try some of these glazed as well.

I have listed a couple of these on my Etsy shop - and I think one may well be used as a Blog giveaway soon!

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