Monday, 16 January 2012

Finished my first 'trial' at home made beads

Well - this evening I surprised myself and made a necklace and a pair of earrings from my home made polymer clay beads - and I haven't  had a single polymer clay lesson yet!

It's a bit late at night to be taking photos but I couldn't wait to get these on  here.
This is really just a practice set as they are my first so I am on a learning curve.
To make the beads, I used three strips of polymer clay in red, white, and blue.
After conditioning them, I had three 'sausages' which I laid side by side, and then twisted them around like a stick of rock.  I just kept going until I got a pattern I like.  I rolled then into different size balls, and laid them one at a time on a tile, placed a piece of perspex on top, and rolled each one around with the perspex and they turned into bicones.   I pushed a needle through each one - which is a bit tricky with cone shaped beads then cooked them for half and hour on 130c

Unfortunately I managed to split one of the earring beads by trying to make the hole a bit bigger for the wire.  I hadn't taken into account that the polymer clay shrinks when being 'baked'. I made another earring with the only other bead I had of similar size - but the shape is different.  You just can't get two beads exactly the same shape when you roll by hand!  It's not an exact science - so I'll have to find out how to do it properly.

I needed the practice at making a strung necklace and bracelet and wiring the earrings - so this might not get worn!   

I am 100% certain that I will look back at this and cringe, but I do think that it's important to keep your first efforts at anything, then when you progress you get the satisfaction to see how far you've improved.
I have not improved however, making polymer clay mosaic tiles with the air dry clay!  The don't have the finished texture or the deep colours of the clay you bake.  I have stamped them, and rubbed them with Rub and Buff.  I have tried painting them, and using mica powder, but I just can't get the quality of finish I am searching for.

I'll just keep practicing for now before I post any pictures.


Sandie said...

From the photo, they look fine. It is a shame that the second bead is a different shape as you say.
Make some more and have 2 pairs of earrings LOL!
I wonder if at the stage before you make the bicone shape, you were to put the needle through and then shape the bead it might work? Just a thought.

I think by the time you get to your pc class, you'll be able to teach them a thing or two!

Sandie xx

Paula Whittaker said...

well, I think this is a wonderful set!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful set and once the earrings are hanging from ears no-one will be able to see they are not exactly the same shape. xx

sam21ski said...

OOOooh Lottie, they look lush. Really love the marbled look of them.

It doesn't really matter that the beads for the erring aren't exactly the same shape. No-one will notice when you are wearing them.

No two handmade beads are exactly the same anyway.

Sam xxxx

Maggie R said...

These are beautiful. I love the color and the shape is awesome...
Nice work ....
and without a lesson !!!.... can't wait to see more

melsanford said...

Oh wow! A beautiful set, Lottie :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

Kath said...

I certainly don't think you will need to cringe when you look back at this. I think it is lovely. Ok an error with the ear-rings ,but as others have said, when they are being worn I don't think it will be noticeable. It would be worth making another couple of beads maybe to make another pair to match these ones if you are concerned about them.

Christine said...

What wonderful beads! Well done!

I'll really have to get my clay out and have a go, you've inspired me!

lainey said...

these are just fab Lottie, love the bright colours, well done you!!Lainey x