Welcome to the home of Holly Gonnella Handcrafted………..Browse my Etsy Jewelry shop!

Making Clay Beads

Porcelain bead earrings by Holly Gonnella
Bowl of decorated hand made beads waiting to be glazed by Holly Gonnella

I always bisque my beads in a bowl for convenience and well, it just looks good!

For me, bead making is an obsessive process. I have a tendency to make a hundred beads, then a hundred more…putting off glazing as long as possible.As a potter, it is fairly typical to keep throwing pots until our whole space is filled (sometimes even the floor) and we are forced to start finishing things. Finally, some deadline will loom and we will get them glazed in the nick of time.

My bead process involves rolling small bits of clay into a shape, then decorating it with a series of tools…some of which are also handmade. I then fire them to a low temperature (bisque) so that I can wash any off the dust. This makes the glaze adhere properly.  One tiny pinhole and the bead is what potters call a second. I then apply translucent glazes so that the quality of the porcelain can shine through. Once they are glazed I load them into a kiln on high fire rods.

They turn out so beautiful and sparkly….miniature ceramic works for the ears!

I had an epiphany one day and thought to wire wrap the hire-fire wire that sticks out of the top. This gives my beads an elegant professional quality and sets them apart from all the other beads in the world.

Hand made beads in process

Beads in process

I spend time matching all the beads into pairs to make earrings. Some are used as focal beads for necklaces and rings.

Hand made and decorated porcelain green beads with wire wrapping

Green beads made in my studio with wire wrapping and forged ear wire.

Hand made bead on sterling ring by Holly Gonnella

This small bead sits beautifully and simply a top a ring shank.


Green handmade bead Earrings - Holly GonnellaYou can find my ceramic earrings in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by, Holly


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