Deep Crackle Bead Techniques Inspired By Authentic Raku Art Work

Deep Crackle Faux Raku Beads

Faux Raku Beads That Look Like The Real Thing:

The technique used to create the smooth faux raku beads shown in yesterday’s post, got me to thinking how I could create a deep crackle raku effect with polymer clay. You probably have seen this effect on pottery created by the actual Raku process… pieces with deep shadowed crevices, drawing your eye in… and irregular protruding surfaces that seem to jump right out at you.

Well today, I’m very excited to give you a sneak peak of what I’ve been working on lately. The photo above shows a collection of deep crackle, faux raku beads that will soon be featured in some upcoming tutorial videos.

References And Definitions:

  • The actual raku process (as opposed to my faux raku process) involves firing pottery clay (not polymer clay) in a kiln. When the clay is red hot and the glaze still molten, the piece is placed in a bed of combustible materials and covered. This creates intense reduction resulting in irregular surfaces and beautiful color variations.
  • And here is a ink to photo of the smooth faux raku bead in January 15, 2009 post, in case you have not seen it yet.

The inspiration for my deep crackle faux raku technique, originally came from a piece of fish art that my parents gave to my husband (Doug) a few years back. It is a stunning raku salmon sculpture that sits in his office where we get a chance to admire it every day.

Actually, I got to know this fish quite intimately one year, following our last major move. The fragile sculpture did not make the trip in one piece, and ended up spending time in the hospital (my craft studio), getting all mended up. Long story short, the reconstructive surgery was a resounding success. You can’t even tell where the injuries occurred, and everyone has long since moved past the trauma of it all.

Anyways… back to polymer clay and bead making techniques. As I said earlier, today’s post is just a sneak peak of what’s to come. As much as I would love to share all the “how-to” details with you right now, I’m going to restrain myself and make you wait until the videos come out. I know you are going to really love this very unique, deep crackle faux raku, polymer clay technique. So stay tuned!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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  1. Laurie R, 16 January, 2009

    What a truly beautiful technique this has to be. My brother does this kind of firing and scares me to think hes working with fire as it come out of the kiln with his thrown clay. But to be able to get the raku on beads well all I can say is WOOOOOOOOOOW.

    Laurie

  2. janice douglas, 16 January, 2009

    Why in the world would you post a deep crakle technique and not give the technique? I will probably not be able to find my way back to the video, and I kinda need the info now. Thanks, Janice

  3. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Tutor Guest List, 16 January, 2009

    Thanks for commenting Janice. The deep crackle polymer clay technique is just one of several new and innovative ideas I am working on. Posting “Sneak Peaks” of these ideas here at my blog gives everyone a chance to express their level of interest. I treat these comments like votes to help determine how much effort to put into creating tutorial videos to support the idea.

    Creating these videos is a time consuming process that I take seriously. My multimedia tutorials include a lot of closeups and detail shots. They are not “quickie clips” that end up on Youtube, many of which leave you guessing because of missing information or poor delivery.

    By the way, if you end up following my blog to any degree, you will notice that I am very “pro-video” when it comes to teaching polymer clay techniques. In my opinion, web video is the most effective method for communicating “how-to” instructions. I produce these videos (actually my DH produces them), in a way that allows you to feel like you are sitting in my studio having a private lesson. At least that’s what my students say :-)

    Now in regards to finding your way back to my tutorial videos at a later date, the best thing is to subscribe to my Guest List newsletter. This will keep you informed via email, of all my new videos the moment they are released. Plus you’ll get some free color recipe cards along the way. Follow the link by my name above to get signed up if you like.

    Hopefully this helps to explain some of the “methods to my madness” :-) :-)

  4. Carol, 16 January, 2009

    These beads are beautiful Cindy. I can’t wait for you to show us how to do it.

  5. Marsha, 16 January, 2009

    Oh yes! These are beautiful and I look forward to learning all about it!!

  6. Cindy Lietz@Stenciling Onto Polymer Clay, 16 January, 2009

    Very glad to hear you girls are likin’ the crackled faux raku! I can’t wait to be able to share the video tutes with all of you.

  7. Sue Werner, 17 January, 2009

    These are absolutely gorgeous Cindy. I’ve admired this finish on pottery, and I am very excited to learn how to do it! I must add that your videos are worth MORE than every penny a membership costs. Especially to me. I live in a very rural area and your tutes make me feel as if I am visiting your studio without leaving my own home. Well done, and thanks.

  8. Freda, 17 January, 2009

    I will definitely enjoy a video on raku and crackled raku.
    Haven’t found how to get to your blog except with the weekly video newsletter – looking for the recipe cards. Will have to investigate further.

  9. Cindy Erickson, 17 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m glad you were able to bring your fish back to life!!! I have been moving all this week, and so far I think I have managed to have no broken treasures! I am just now getting my studio up…still finding many more things in boxes and trying to give them all the best homes on my work tables and shelves.

    I, too, would love to see a video on making these kinds of beads. Count me in!!!

    Hugs to you…Cindy E.

  10. Cindy Lietz@Raku Style Crackle Beads, 18 January, 2009

    @Sue: I am pleased you are getting such good value from being a member. I know what it is like to live in a rural location. It can be quite isolating! Glad you found a way to connect. Thank you for your comment!

    @Freda: If you need help finding anything specific here at the blog or at the members library, just let me know. I’m here to help.

    @Cindy: Glad to hear your move is going well! I love setting up a new studio. It’s a great time to get reacquainted with your supplies and get better organized. Happy you like the faux raku!

  11. lynn watts, 20 February, 2009

    looooooove the faux raku beads. can’t hardly wait to see your technique. lynn watts

  12. marsha, 21 February, 2009

    This is one of the most interesting projects I’ve seen. Please let me know when the video is available.

  13. Cindy Lietz@Textured Faux Raku Beads, 22 February, 2009

    Thanks gals for the kind words about these polymer clay raku beads.

    BTW… the best way to receive automated notices of when my videos get released is to follow my free email newsletter each week. Lynn I know that you are already subscribed but Marsha I did not see your name on the Guest List.

  14. Elizabeth Kerr, 10 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy
    I was looking thru the article you wrote on Jan 16th 09 about Faux Raku beads
    I am interested in this subject and wonder if I have missed this or if the tut video is even out yet.
    I cant see anything, not sure were to look.
    Keep up you lovely work
    Thanks
    Elizabeth

  15. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Newsletter, 13 April, 2009

    No Elizabeth, you haven’t missed it, I haven’t got the tutorial video on the the raku technique filmed yet.

    I’m trying to get it done as soon as I can. It has been pretty busy around here. You’re not the only one asking, so it does have high priority. When it is ready to buy, I will let you and everyone know.

  16. Sue Whelan, 27 June, 2009

    What a cool technique! Of course, it’s one of about ten I’ve got lined up to try now that I finally have some time. Looking forward to the videos next month. I’d like to second the comment about value for money. Your videos are great information. Thanks so much, Cindy.

  17. Cindy Lietz@Faux Raku Technique, 29 June, 2009

    Thank you Sue. It feels great to hear that from you!

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