Haltom City, Texas

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Pottery! Beads! Whistles!

I always wanted to work in ceramics. I was one of those who took a high school extra credit class and was hooked ... One day I was on the wheel making a mug but thinking about how I wanted to make a necklace later that day. I was thinking I needed some opaque semi-precious gemstones and suddenly I realized I could make opaque beads of any size, shape, and color out of my ceramic clay. Out! Of! My! Own! Clay! I was so excited!

I've had a lot of fun making beads along with the pottery since then. Oh, and the whistles? Well, I saw a book that showed how to make them and I thought, "I have to try that." So I make ceramic whistles as well. It took me weeks to make one that would toot. They are also a lot of fun to make.

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Natalie

P.S. I've put together a bit of information about what makes clay 'ceramic' (as opposed to 'air-dry' or 'polymer') to educate our growing community about the process of 'ceramic' pottery. Enjoy!

If a clay can go through these six stages, it may be called 'ceramic':

Condensed from "Pottery.about.com/od/temperatureandmaturation/tp/tempclay.htm"

First Stage: Atmospheric Drying (212 degrees)
Second Stage: Burn Off of Carbon and Sulfur (572-1470 degrees)
Third Stage: Chemically Combined Water Driven Off (660-1470 degrees)
Fourth Stage: Quartz Inversion Occurs (1060 degrees)
Fifth Stage: Sintering (1650 degrees) -- it is a fusing process

Bisque firing usually is done at about 1730⁰F (945⁰C), after the ware has sintered but is still porous and not yet vitrified. This allows wet, raw glazes to adhere to the pottery without it disintegrating.

Sixth Stage: Vitrification and Maturity
Vitrification is a gradual process during which the materials that melt most easily do so, dissolving and filling in the spaces between the more refractory particles. The melted materials promote further melting, as well as compacting and strengthening the clay body.

It is also during this stage that mullite (aluminum silicate) is formed. These are long, needle-like crystals which acts as binders, knitting and strengthening the clay body even further.

It is also imperative to note that different clays mature at different temperatures, depending on their composition. A red earthenware contains a large amount of iron which acts as a flux. An earthenware clay body can fire to maturity at about 1830⁰F (1000⁰C) and can melt at 2280⁰F (1250⁰C). On the other hand, a porcelain body made of pure kaolin might not mature until about 2500⁰F (1390⁰C) and not melt until over 3270⁰F (1800⁰C).

Shop members

  • Natalie

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator

    I've been creating pottery since about 2003. I stumbled upon ceramic bead making and from there also began creating whistles. I have a lot of ideas and not enough time. Thanks for stopping by! I love making these unique art objects.