“Our team works hard to provide a quality product that is unique & of timeless design. We are proud of the exquisite ceramic beads & jewellery we craft.”
Lucienne - Ceramist & Founder
Claycult exclusively uses white clay that we dig ourselves from very good primary deposits in the southern regions of Cambodia. The clay must be dug when it still retains a level of moisture. Once the dug clay is dry it is pounded into small pieces & mixed with water.
The very wet, clay-slurry mix is left to slake down & the excess water evaporate. Finally, it is laid out on large batts and allowed to dry until it is a workable consistency.
It is then bagged up in pugs ready for use.
Bead making is an ancient tradition which has unfortunately been taken over by the mass production of goods. Handmade beads are very labour intensive, however there is no comparison in beauty or craftsmanship. For consistency with sizing of our ceramic beads we pre-cut the clay. We use many different techniques in the crafting of our beads including hand rolling, mould work and for our most difficult beads we use our own handmade small stamps and tools to make marks on the bead creating intricately detailed patterns.
Once the beads are dry they go into a bisque (first) firing. The kiln fires for around 8 hours and takes 24 hours to cool down. They are now ready for glaze.
The handmade ceramic beads are placed on bamboo skewers for painting, with each clay bead receiving up to 5 coats of glaze. At Claycult We love having fun with colour always testing and playing with new ideas of how we can combine and & use our stunning range of glazes. Our colourful Twiggy & Spiral beads are hand-painted with very fine lines and in the case of the
Twiggy, in multiple colours.
Once the glaze has dried on the ceramic beads, they are threaded onto high temperature wires for firing. The ceramic glaze melts at these very high temperatures becoming viscous. For this reason, the beads cannot touch in the kiln or they will fuse together as they cool. Each glazed bead, therefore, needs to be separated from its neighbour. The glaze firings take one day to pack, one day to fire and one day to cool. Opening the door and unpacking the kiln is always exciting. The handmade ceramic beads are transformed from a dull matt to an array of tantalizing colours.