Clay frit beads mini tutorial

These beads are inspired by glass frit lampwork beads.

First, I browsed Google images for “glass frit” images, preferably with a bead made using that frit.

Next, I picked or mixed colors to match.  You want to match the bead if possible as some glass colors react with each other and change when applied to the bead.  You only need small amounts of each color.

Next, pre-chop the colors to about 3mm square.  Place the chopped bits into a coffee grinder (dedicated to clay, of course).  Grind til mixed to your liking.

A note on using the grinder:  if it gets stuck, you have either too much clay or the bits are too big.  I usually add about 2 TBSP of bits to start and add the rest a TBSP at a time, grinding a few seconds in between.

Dump out the ground clay and spread it out, gently.  Make base beads (I did black and white).  Roll a bead in the clay bits and then roll in your hands to smooth the bits in.  Add more bits if needed and repeat.  You want the base color to show through.

Add a hole, bake, sand, buff and glaze in whatever combination and types you prefer.

Here’s some examples on white bases (the black base ones are still waiting for the buff and glaze stages).

You can also swirl them and usually they look awesome.

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Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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