Porcelain Beads vs. Ceramic Beads. How Durable and Strong Are They?

I was asked yesterday; if my Porcelain beads are fragile. The quick answer is no. My beads are mostly round or roundish and they are quite strong and durable. 

Can they be worn in water? Yes. They are glazed and also fired to high temperatures. 

How durable are they? Very. 

I used to make another kind of bead that is refereed to as polymer clay. Which is not clay at all but rather a form of PVC plastic. 

While the colors were bright and I was able to make beautiful patterns with the clay, I found it picked up dirt and oils from the skin that were difficult to clean once embedded. 

High fired clay beads however do not hold this problem and are very easy to clean and even dishwasher safe! (if needed)

The clay I use come from Georgie's Clay in Portland, Oregon. I have used several of their clay types but my favorite so far is the White Salmon. It is said to be a "kissing cousin" of porcelain. I am currently making beads from this and also from Silver Falls Porcelain. 

I have had great success with both these clay bodies and I like the way my glazes look on them. 

Another clay I have used is their Trail Mix Toast. From the samples it looked like it was going to be "toast" color. However, I found it to get quite dark and even reddish color. For some reason this was my experience with the bag I had. Maybe it was a fluke, I don't know. 

I found it difficult to make small beads because of the "beefier grog". Grog is "added crushed unglazed pottery or brick used as an additive in plaster or clay". If you can imagine how that feels... 

Once I figured out how and what glazes to use with it, I had some nice results but I definitely prefer the lighter colored clay. 

Back to the original question; Are your beads fragile? No, they are NOT fragile. Just like glass or gemstones, ceramic will break when smashed hard enough!

I had a porcelain pendant I bought about a decade ago from a bead show in Tacoma, WA. I LOVED it. I wore it all the time. It was all blue with a fish on the front.  One day I was getting into the shower and decided to remove it and toss it to the counter. Well, it hit the counter just right and broke. Sadly. (that was not one I made, fyi)

So, you see that yes, in normal wear they are strong and durable and can be worn in the shower or for extended periods but try not to slam ceramic or glass for that matter on to hard surface.

For every day wear, ceramic beads are super durable, strong and beautiful. I would not use them otherwise. My beads, jewelry and pottery are guaranteed against defects. Always. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Throw Back Thursday (TBT) Love for Green

Tuesday, June 24, 2014   Love for Green “It is good to have an end to journey toward;  but it is the journey that matters, in the...