Friendship Parties are so cool. What's the deal? Each guest at a party or social group outing paints a set of beads to represent the number of guests. If there are 8 guests total, each person paints 8 beads. They should pick one of two themes which will be their signature beads style (swirls, dots, bullseyes, plaids, hearts, ying/yang, etc). After glazing, and firing, the beads are swaped among the guests so that each person ends up with a bead from each guest on their necklace. Collect beads from your friends and family too, adding as many beads as you'd like. You'll have a one-of-a-kind masterpiece necklace!

Each party person has a block of 4"x2"x2" Styrofoam. This holds the beads which have been placed on a 4" segment of chenille stem. Folding over the end will keep the bead firmly in place. Make sure you have a different color for each guest, ie. Jane = red.

 

Having the bead on the chenille stem allows the guest to easily paint each bead.

The Styrofoam works as a great drying station as well. After the beads are painted, the party assistant sticks the beads in a ziplock bag marked "Jane = red" until they are ready to be glazed.

 

There are 2 ways you can dip your beads. Shown is the first way on the chenille stem.

This will require you to wash the chenille stem so that it can be reused. To dry simply place back into the Styrofoam block.

 

The second way to dip the bead is shown in this photo. This is done with

curling ribbon simply tied in an overhand knot. Hang the curling ribbon from a nail or push pin in the edge of a shelf until the bead is dry. Remember to keep the beads on the same color ribbon, so Jane's beads don't get mixed up with someone elses.

 

Cleaning out the bead prior to firing will usually keep you from having any further labor in dremeling etc.

Using a triangular cleanup tool, simply ream out the edge of the hole to remove extra glaze.

 

Next, using your chenille stem quickly ream the hole out several times.

 

 

Now your ready to fire the beads. Mark each set of stilt bars with the color to correspond to the person's chenille stem color. This way if you are not there to load or unload, Jane's beads are sure to stay together and

easily marked. You can easily fit 6-36 beads on these 3 bars taking up less than 5" x 3" x 1" in your kiln. The stilt kits are available for sale in the Firing and Torch Supplies section. You can also purchase just the nichrome high-fire rods as well. Stilting beads this way, instead of using a bead tree, will allow you to fire 50 to 300 beads on half a shelf in a large kiln. Now that's efficient!