Well, now. When I have a chance I love to make raku beads. The class I took in Santa Fe was sooo fun because it was a wine and cheese firing, which is completely safe when you are pulling hot beads and vessels from a 1200 degree Fahrenheit kiln with a three foot long tongs! Even with a heavy leather apron your sticky-outy-bits can get noticeably hot.
Then you throw them very quickly into a metal garbage can filled with combustible materials (which flame up immediately) and cover then with more flammable material and when fullish, slap on the lid (which may or MAY NOT contain the flames) then cover with a wet towel, so the smoke doesn't overwhelm you.
When they cool and you take them out and scrub the char off, you should find insanely amazing iridescent colors, which you probably can't see in these photos.
You can see a bit of the color change in the bottom of this piece from left to right--green and purples to blues. I love using pearls and sheer ribbons, semi-precious gems and "found objects". This necklace now showcased at Angevine Custom Jewelry on 6th ave in Denver
where William the genius can create anything you desire.
My favorite color--freaky green with some glass beads, crystals & pearls on silk string. Very dainty. Also at Anjevine Custom Jewelry.
A leather slider with some glass beads in the cool blue shining into purple.