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A Bracelet made from Clay Beads, blackened on a Bonfire


The beads are made from red pottery clay containing Chamotte. Place in a hay or straw-lined metal box and then in the embers of a fire. The black look is achieved due to the oxygen deficiency whilst firing. Use for jewellery or as keyring fob.

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A Bracelet made from Clay Beads, blackened on a Bonfire
A Bracelet made from Clay Beads, blackened on a Bonfire

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    How to do it
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    Day 1: Shape the beads (diameter approx. 1 – 1.5cm) from red pottery clay containing Chamotte.
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    Make a 3mm hole in each bead using a flower stick.
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    Make patterns with a flower stick or with a modelling tool.
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    Day 2: Make three holes in the bottom of a metal tin with a lid.
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    Line the tin with hay or straw, place the beads in the tin and put the lid on.
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    Place the metal tin with the beads on the wood and light the fire. (The slow increase in temperature optimises the firing of the beads). Make sure to keep the fire going so that there are embers around the tin for at least two hours – but leave the tin in the fire until the next day.
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    Day 3: Open the tin and take out the finished beads. They are now black due to the oxygen deficiency during the firing. Use the beads for jewellery etc. Follow the steps for making a bracelet with an adjustable knot and a braided pendant for a keyring.
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    8. This is how you make a single adjustable knot
    An adjustable knot is an adjustable fastening for necklaces and bracelets made on leather, polyester and cotton cords.
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    Double over the cord so that it lies parallel with the “loop” at one end and the cord ends at the other. Feed one cord end underneath the other – then feed the same cord end through the loop.
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    Now feed the same cord end underneath the crossing and up before feeding it down into the loop on the left. Pull the knot.
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    Turn the bracelet/necklace so that it is mirror imaged and make another single adjustable knot in the other end. Trim the ends very close to the knots.
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    A Braided Pendant for a Keyring
    Beads are attached to the tassel at the bottom on the pendant shown here. You may also attach beads to the actual braiding, as described in the instructions.
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