Do porcelain beads look cheap? I've been looking at them at Fire Mountain Gems and can't tell for sure. Guess I should check it out at my local bead shop. Anyone have any opinions?
Depends entirely on the quality of the bead and how they are finished. Porcelain is a very fine material and as such can be very smooth and shiny just as they are fired. I have an acquaintance who makes small pendants from it and a pal who makes cabochons that carry a fine Euro decal on them. There is no "cheap" look to either of these. All the porcelain beads I have had my hands on have been nice, but that is not to say that some are not awful. It probably comes down to where they were made and the level of finishing. Donna
Out of all the beads in my shop ...some hand made porcelain beads from Splendid Loon Studio are my favourite, and have been for many years. They have a magical ability to make my stringing look extra special :-) Love the coatings (lustre), the colours (wish there was a red, tho), and the finish.
And no, not cheap. I do have a fondness for most (but not all) porcelain beads, and as Donna says, it depends on the finish.
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I don't think I've ever seen any cheap-looking porcelain beads, either. I actually have some that I ordered from FMG, and some of them look like genuine stone! They were very cleverly done. I used them in a necklace and it came out looking very cool. I think mine are the glazed beads. They're really quite lovely. Cloisonne can be fun to work with, too.