Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bead Furnace at Atlantian Royal Easement (Pennsic)

Tinker, Irene, and I had a lot of fun making period furnaces at Atlantia's Artisans Easement at Pennsic this year!! Thank you Atlantia!

Below are a few photos of the furnace built by Tinker that I used to made beads. 

Volcano style bead furnace. This was build around a basket with a small hole cut in the top, and another small hole cut in the side as a bellows port. The clay mixture used was Irene's recipe-- two parts ball clay, two parts sand, and one part peat moss. As you can see, there was some cracking, but we patched it up with clay as we went along.

The channel on the side is likely not necessary. We used it to add in some coal, but dropping it in from the top was easier in the end. We had also hoped that the channel would help create more of a draft, making it possible to use the furnace with no bellows, Tinker read about another furnace design where this worked. However, that furnace was MUCH bigger. Our small furnace did not work this way.

In the future, we could create a removable clay lid with a narrowed top to make adding coal in even easier. I have seen an image of a furnace like this online in the past.

We also did not create a base of clay. The basket was placed directly onto the paving stone, but as the clay dried, it pulled up from the stone somewhat, causing a bit of air to escape from the bottom. 

Making a bead.

Adding and marvering in dots.

Second layer of dots
Final layer of dots.
Completed evil eye bead
Cute picture of me using the furnace!
Demonstrating for an audience!
Having Fun Cooking Lunch!
You can also see Irene's furnace in the background.
Her's uses a beehive shape.  The other two use more of a volcano shape.


A few pictures of Tinker making her portable furnace. This one was not used at Pennsic, but it was built to showcase the process. I made this type of furnace with Erica a few months ago using Tinker's instructions (see previous blog post). I can't find my photos of the making of the furnace, so I've included these here below for reference.