colourful polkadot ceramic beads by aurora lombardo

The beadmaking process

All the ceramic beads, buttons and components used in Aurora's jewellery are made by her in her Cambridgeshire studio. Each ceramic bead is an original unique creation completely hand worked. It is a lengthy process, but it's very rewarding.

bisque beads ready to be glazed

The shaping and forming......

Depending on the final effect desired, Aurora uses a variety of different clays including earthenware, stoneware, and semi porcelain. After shaping and texturing, the beads are allowed to air dry for a day or so and then slowly bisque fired to a temperature of above 1000 degrees Celsius over a period of 8-9 hours.

glazed beads fired and ready to be fired in the kiln

The glazing...

Once the pieces have been bisque fired in the kiln, they go through a round of inspection and get cleaned up for glazing. During this phase the ceramic components are painted, one-at-a-time, using a variety of lead-free glazes. All the glazing is hand-applied with small, sweeping brush strokes.

The glazed beads are then let to dry for a day or so, and finally high fired once more to allow the colours to develop fully and to further strengthen the beads. 

glazed beads fired and ready to come out of the kiln

The assembling...

In the last phase, when a jewellery piece finally come together, creativity really takes the front seat.

Now it is the time to choose among a variety of stringing materials, components and other metal elements, the ones that can complement the ceramic pearls most effectively. 

An exhilarating process during which new, unconventional combinations of shapes, colors and materials are born.