Saturday, October 31, 2009


RAKU BEADS BY KEITH O'CONNOR

While I was at my local bead shop picking up some new supplies I got the chance to meet Keith O'Connor. Keith is an amazing artist that makes his own raku beads.
Raku is a way of firing pottery first used in the 16th century Japan. These handformed beads are painted with two or three coats of glaze, fired on rods in a small kiln and removed while red hot. They are plunged into a tub filled with crushed leaves or sawdust which bursts into flame - a lid is then fitted into place. The fire consumes all of the oxygen in the container causing the glazes to reduce and change colors. The beads are cooled in water after which the soot must be scrubbed off by hand. This rapid firing and cooling gives each piece its own wonderful crackle and luster. So much work for each little bead!

I did purchase a few of his beads and made some new things last night!

These two leaf beads might be my favorite...I love the rust color with the green. They remind me of how the leaves in my backyard look now...



I used two of his beads for this necklace..I love the colors...and got a chance to experiment with some new chain!


I used this great leaf bead to hang from one of my hand hammered Gold ring pendants. I made two of these...one with large ring and one that is a bit smaller.



Now I am just waiting for the rain to subside so I can get some decent pictures and get my new things listed in my Etsy shop!

6 comments:

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

Oh, those are so beautiful!

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

does keith o'connor sell his beads online?

Metallo Bianco Jewelry said...

Thanks! He doesn't have a website...but if you Google his name there are links to places here and there that sell his beads...here is one link:

http://www.beadinpath.com/
artist_beads_keith_oconnor.html

Abigail's Creative Journey said...

I love the simplicity of your designs. Keith's Raku beads are pretty. Happy Halloween.

Metallo Bianco Jewelry said...

Thank you Abagail! I saw your blog...and I LOVE it. Your photos are amazing and inspiring...and your love of life is infectious! I was so excited to see you live in Fairbanks, I used to live in Kodiak! Look forward to your future posts! :)

Brooke Ahana said...

oh I love your hand-hammered pieces so much - I wish I had a jewelers bench, but think I need to enroll in some classes where I can get back to bench work. So much I'd like to do and add to my vintage found pieces! Beautiful work.