I'm only just realizing that I can give some information about the raku pendants that I bought. I had forgotten that I had some information on the artist, who had done a trunk show at Reeds Beads some time ago, and whose beads are regularly sold there. Of course, I could have asked Erica, but I wasn't thinking of it at the time that I was in the store.
The face pendant in the last post, and the two other pendants that I bought were made by a family run company known as Rama, and started by a woman named Tia.
Here's a little raku info from their website, there are some great photos there of their beads....
Rama is a family run business out of Olympia, WA. All of our beads and buttons are handmade out of porcelain and fired in the raku process.
The beads and buttons are taken from the kiln while they are red hot, and placed in a combustion chamber (in this case, a metal trashcan filled with newsprint). After the paper ignites, the lid is placed on the can, suffocating the fire. As the fire struggles to live, it pulls the oxygen out of the glaze to use as fuel. Depending upon what part of the flame touches the bead, the weather, the humidity, the ink content in the newspaper, how much chocolate the kiln god's wife has had, etc… the results vary. Nothing is ever intentionally reproducible, and nothing is ever what you expected, making each bead unique and every firing something to look forward to.
Their beads can also be found here on ebay.