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.