Information about the art of Sharleen Newland

Artist Info -- Sharleen Newland

Sharleen Newland

Stoneware Bird Bead Set

Specialties: earthenware and stoneware pendants and beads

Location: Ohio

I began making ceramic beads and pendants in 2003, when I bought a bead roller intended for polymer clay.  My interest in making my own beads grew out of my interest in beading.  I also had a friend that made lampwork, and I wanted to try it in ceramic.

I had taken a year of ceramics in high school, but didn't know much about glazing.  When I first started, I didn't know the difference between underglaze and glaze.  My first firing in a friend's kiln was a disaster, because the wire we strung the beads on was too thin and overloaded.  Everything collapsed and fused into a heap.  But I wanted to try again.  I didn't have a kiln, so I took my beads to be fired at a local ceramic store.  It was trial and error, but I loved playing with the glazes to see what would happen.  The biggest problem was remembering what I did to get the effect when I got a fabulous one.  I found it too tedious to try to keep records of what I was doing. I usually had to wait 3 or 4 days before I could go back to the store to pick up the fired beads.  I couldn't wait to go back and get them.

Finally in 2004 I had so many beads I had to do something.  So I took them to two local bead stores.  I sold over $600 worth of beads that day, and I knew I had to get a kiln.  My beads looked even better when I started firing them myself.

I use only low fire clay, because I love the bright colors.  One customer says my work reminds her of fabric, and that is probably because my college training was in fashion design.  I make many different shapes and sizes of beads.  I have even sculpted cats, fish and turtles.

I also make sgraffito beads.  The technique involves layering glazes and scratching through to make a design.  I can get very thin lines that would be difficult to achieve with a paint brush.

My picture shows a stoneware bird bead that is hand carved witha swirl design, and a hand carved leaf.


Awards, Recognition, Articles:

Necklace featured in Stringing Magazine Fall 2011

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