Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Charm Necklace

You can really let your imagination run away with you on this one. The clay beads can be decorated in any way you like, some of these have coils wrapped around, others have a pattern made from a very thin roll of clay draped over the bead. Some are from other pieces that I have made, in fact you could use any surplus beads to make this up.

I have included nine hand made beads, along with approximately eight bought ones but the choice is yours. The only thing I found difficult was getting the balance right. My first attempt was top heavy, the second had a gap in the middle but the third, well I quite like it.
The beads are pierced with a head pin, which can be left in place whilst firing. When cool, give them a coat of varnish and let dry. The headpin can be cut to size and twisted around your long nose pliers to give a coil. This is then put onto a jump ring, you can add a few to each ring but I would only fasten a maximum of two large or perhaps one large, two small, as sometimes they can look overloaded. You will need several 7.5mm and 10mm - 12mm jump rings. One of the larger rings is the centre point and the others hang from this.
Once you have made your jewellery you may need a box, especially if you are giving this as a present and the Groovy Duo is great for making very posh boxes. You can colour and embellish them as you like. The one below I made for the Autumn Leaf necklace. It is coloured with the alcohol inks (where would I be without them!), and the leaf pattern is a 10 Second Studio mold, (oh! dear, something else that I have discovered works exceedingly well with clay). Once fired I used the metallic rub-ons to give the colouring.

The molds can be used quite effectively with polymer clay. You need to dust them first with talc (any perfume but I quite like Lavender), roll your clay to the right length and place on top. Lay silicon paper over the clay and press into the mold, if you don't use the paper you will find that it will lift with your fingers and form air bubbles but the paper stops this from happening.

Again using the 10 Second Studio molds. Some lovely metallic effects can be achieved by colouring with the alcohol inks. These are going to be made into book covers, eventually. The 10 Second tools are great too, they allow you to do loads of lovely patterns and intricate designs. I am now drooling over the whole set!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stunning Sets and Autumn Leaves

Simply Stunning

Sometimes the inclusion of 'shop bought' beads can add a very nice dimension your work.

This set is made up of beads graduating in size that have been coloured with alcohol inks. A small gunmetal metallic bead has been placed between. It really does look very nice, and very easy to do.

Autumn Leaf

I feel perhaps this is my best piece to date and it came about by chance. Glenda brought back from the States a magazine PolymerCAFE and on the front was a picture of a necklace made from a clay blend, inside it gave details on how to make the blend etc and stringing instructions. I am not quite into following instructions to the letter, so decided to make my own version. I sat watching Coronation Street (sad, I know), whilst rolling 60 - 70 small gold beads and putting holes in them using a meat skewer. I next raided three different sized leaves from the Clematis growing on our fence. These were imprinted into the conditioned clay, using a rolling pin to make sure all the veins were defined and cut out using a craft knife. A small hole was pierced into the top of each leaf just large enough to take a jump ring. Everything was then fired.

I coloured the leaves using the alcohol ink, trying to achieve the autumn colours, a drop of blending solution was applied to the points of the leaves, this lightens the colour and gives the leaf a slightly withered look, the beads and the leaves were then given a coat of varnish. (If you are using alcohol ink and you decide to varnish, use a water based varnish, don't use gloss it will take off the colour). A jump ring was then fastened to each leaf.

The necklace was then strung, using the gold and some small bought wooden beads. The leaves hang really nicely, just overlapping when it is worn.

Think I will have to make another, for myself ...........