So I’ve done that. By the time they’re completely done, to the last glaze firing, each Goddess pendant will have taken well over two or three hours hands-on time, specifically, to make. At minimum.
This does not count the time taken for prototype and bead mold development. I used polymer clays for those steps.
It also does not count the time to transport the pendants to the kiln to get fired several times (they will be glazed) or any effort involved in selling them (websites, teaching, writing, making videos…whatever it takes to beat obscurity and poverty).
I first envisioned popping these beauties out in just seconds, with them ready to be fired. I found that bead molds for such curvaceous figurative beads are more like guidelines. That might not be such the case with shallower, less curvaceous pendants. We shall see.
I found the trick in creating these ceramic beads is to use perhaps damper clay than usual so I can get the clay smoothly and deeply into the mold without creases or partial filling of deeper areas. However, this means I work on these beauties quite a bit after I pop them out of the mold due to distortion and marring.
When I tried to fix these distortion errors, I create other distortions while doing that, the clay is so soft. So I have to fix those and back-and-forth it goes for a while until I am satisfied.
When I add the bellybutton (which takes 3 tools) and details of the pelvic area and lines of the derrière, there’s this same back-and-forth process of perfecting and correcting.
Aaaaand the same process happens for the bead holes. In the process of creating them, I create distortions that I have to fix and while I’m fixing those, that might create distortions…and back-and-forth it goes until I’m satisfied.
I work on these earthenware pendants both wet and dry — I also sand them and finally buff them carefully on my big, super thick as terry cloth bathrobe.