I’ve gotten lots of requests for more jewelry findings made out of polymer clay, so today I have for you a simple way to think about making bead cones.
The basic coiled cone that I show you it’s really just a starting place. As I mentioned in the video you should consider applying paint, patinas and surface effects to these to make them work perfectly with your jewelry pieces. Also, I think I would like to experiment with applying slices of canes or pieces of veneers such as mokume gane or a retro cane. Of course, if you’re not careful your bead caps will end up stealing the show!
With that in mind in upcoming videos I will be showing you how to make jewelry that allows these bead cones to be the stars.
If you want to make lots of cones that are all the same size you might consider making a mold of your form. Use two-part molding putty to mold the form, once set fill it with clay and bake. This way you can make as many forms as you like that are all the exact same size and shape.
Let me know in the comments if you find any interesting cone shapes in household objects. Like I mentioned in the video I found it to be one of the toughest shapes to locate.
I was hesitant at first to do a video with polymer clay roses as they seem so very basic to me. However after thinking about it I decided to go ahead because even if you’ve made polymer clay roses before you may not have thought of using them in this way.
I love the vintage look you get when putting these delicate flowers on metal and filigree pieces!
As you can see, the possibilities for application are endless. I made just a few pieces of jewelry, but you could use them to decorate all sorts of things. Think about covering boxes, home dec, pens… anything that doesn’t get too much handling, as they are rather delicate.
One thing I forgot to mention in the video was that for the earrings I only used six petals in addition to the center to keep them small and in proportion to the findings. It’s really simply a matter of using as many petals as you need to get the fullness and shape you want.
Tools and Materials:
Polymer clay in colors of your choice (I like to add some Pearl for sparkle)
When I first started this, the sixth of the polymer clay figure sculptures I challenged myself to make in 2017, I planned to make her patterned after the final of the neighborhood kids in Maureen Carlson’s book How to Make Clay Characters. But I was getting a bit bored and decided to make my girl steampunk style.
As with all of the neighborhood kids projects, I started with the shoes, or in this case, the boots. I don’t know why but I’ve found I really love adding all the details to the footwear.
Once I got the boots done I realized that my proportions were going to be different from the figure in Maureen’s book. After studying rules of body proportions I proceeded to make her legs, and then added her skirt and petticoats.
From the base of the box to the top of her hat Savina is 7 inches tall. If she were to stand up, she’d be about 10 inches tall.
The petticoat ruffles are strips of white clay that were cut on one edge with a wavy blade. I used a dotting tool to make them look more like lace.
Although I love the color and the pearly shimmer of the skirt, every time I look at it I wish I had added some texture. Something to remember next time, texture everything!
My decades as a seamstress came in handy when planning, drafting and fitting her “leather” corset.
Those puffy white sleeves were the trickiest part of the entire project. Try to picture how you would texture the clay, gather and shape it to look like a puffy sleeve and then press it into place on the figure without smashing any of the texture or gathers or shape!
It was at this point I realized that my figure was large enough that I should have started off with an armature as a base. The neighborhood kids are small enough that they don’t require an armature except perhaps a couple toothpicks on the inside for supports. This little girl would’ve been a lot easier if I had made her body first and then fitted the clothes. Instead I found myself doing it rather backwards, having to sculpt and smooth the skin of her neck around the neckline of her blouse rather than just draping the blouse over her body.
I did save myself some of the difficulty of sculpting hands by deciding that she was going to wear leather gloves, really LONG leather gloves. 😀
I was thrilled that the “suede” strips twisted up and around the gloves came out looking like real suede.
When it came time to do the face I decided that the simplistic faces from the neighborhood kids really wouldn’t suit the style of this project and so I moved on to Maureen’s next tutorial in the book and based my face on the more realistic faces that she taught. I’m fairly pleased with how the face came out, although, even after removing a lot of clay the nose is still three times larger than I wanted it to be. There’s always next time!
Instead of making clay hair I decided to use some alpaca wool I had bought a while ago for doll making. The nice thing about this wool is that it’s very fine so the scale is good for dolls. Also, it can be styled similarly to human hair. I used mousse and a curling iron. I’m not much of a hair stylist but it came out okay.
Making the top hat was a lot of fun. It was a bit of a challenge to get the shape just right, but once I figured it out I had a blast decorating it with all kinds of bits and pieces from my stash. You might notice, especially if you read the title of this post, that there is not a single gear in sight. Even without the gears it’s apparent that she’s a steampunk girl, which goes to show you that steampunk is about more than just gears. 🙂
This figure is so large and so complicated that she is going to have to suffice for #’s 6, 7 and 8 as I just don’t have time and need to move on to other projects which are more of my bread-and-butter. Priorities, you know!
So yeah, only one figure for March and one figure for April. I’m a little disappointed in that, but not going to stress about it. Instead I am going to move on to my next project with which is creating another class for you guys to enjoy. I’m excited about this project and hope you’ll love it once I get it done.
I’m also working on an email newsletter to better keep you informed on what’s going on with all my classes, videos, projects and such. More on that soon. So, yeah, busy, busy!
There are lots of different ways to hang polymer clay pendants from necklace cord. Some of the more obvious are adding a hole, adding a loop to the pendant or embedding some kind of metal finding. But sometimes the design just doesn’t warrant it. Sometimes you don’t want any of the findings to show on the front.
I’ve seen lots of different styles of polymer clay bails pressed onto the backs of pendants, but they can often be bulky. Today I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to secure a hidden, low-profile bail to the back of your polymer clay pendant.
If you don’t have the coiling gizmo to make your coils you can wrap your wire around anything cylindrical. But using this cool tool will make your work much quicker and it’s easier to get consistent results.
Remember to first plan your stringing cord so that you can make a wire coil of the appropriate size. The thicker your coil, by the way, the thicker the backing of your clay should be. But don’t embed your coil so deeply that you can no longer fit in your cording!
As I mention in the video, all the pendants I use for demonstration in the video were made with directions from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.
I’ve always admired the sweet, dainty look of polymer clay faux embroidery and decided it was high time I made a few pieces of my own design.
In today’s video I will teach you the basics, including how to quickly sketch out your own design. Those of you who are my patrons can download my sketches from my Patreon posts.
In preparation for making this project I looked at a lot of examples of polymer clay faux embroidery. One thing I noticed was that they all had beautifully rounded and smooth bases. In the video I will also show you how to achieve that for yourself when filling a purchased bezel with clay.
Many of you many not know that before I had this crafts blog I had an organizing blog, even wrote an e-book on organizing… even sold a few of them, lol. So, yes, I love to organize and am pretty good at it. 🙂
One of the tricky things about polymer clay is the wide variety of tools and materials that can be used with it. It’s wonderful and fun, but how do you store and sort it all?
These little Kemper cutters are so very useful in my clay work, but it can be a pain to find the size and shape you want amidst the jumble. Which is why I decided to make these little trays to keep them neat and organized and eliminate the jumble. I also labeled the sides of the holders with the size of each tool for future reference.
I hope you find this tip helpful. Let us know in the comments in you think of other ways to use it!
Here are a few of the tools shown or referenced in this video:
No, this is not a sponsored post, but I wish it were. 😀 (Glad, if you’re listening, sponsor me and I’ll come up with lots more ways to use your cool product!)
Seriously though, I just recently bought my first package of Glad Press’n Seal and have been really impressed with all the different useful things I can do with it just in the studio alone. I haven’t even brought it into my kitchen yet.
In today’s video I show several ways I have found to make your jewelry making, polymer clay work and general crafting a whole lot easier using Glad Press’n Seal. Please feel free to share other ideas that you have found for using the stuff so we can all learn together!
Here are a few of the products I show in the video:
Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make these beautiful vines and flowers covered pens. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.
The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to prepare, cover and texture the pen, how to make canes for the vines & flowers and how adding crystals to the flower centers creates a lovely, realistic shape.
There’s also a bonus coloring page at the end. It’s vines and flowers, of course. 🙂
Sometimes the trickiest part of making custom polymer clay jewelry pieces is locating findings that enhance and work well with them. We can easily solve this problem by creating our own findings out of yet more polymer clay.
It’s not only solves the problem but actually makes our pieces even more unique and creative.
In today’s video I will show you how simple it is to make fancy, decorative tube style bails for your clay or other pieces.
I show enhancing them with textures, mica powders and Gilders Pastes, but you can be as decorative as you need to be in order to get a cohesive look in your jewelry.
Although shopping for and using unique jewelry findings is a lot of fun, it’s even more satisfying if we can create them ourselves. This is one reason why I’ve really been wanting to get into metal clay, as I think it’s the perfect fusion between creating in polymer clay and having quality precious metal jewelry.
However, since that is cost prohibitive at the moment we can content ourselves with making our findings out of polymer clay. It’s a great way to make perfectly matched findings for your polymer clay jewelry and makes each piece even that much more unique.
In today’s video I will show you how to make simple tube bail. Interestingly, a couple hours after I shot this video I watched a video from a Patricia Roberts-Thompson, who has a relatively new YouTube channel, showing how to make polymer clay end caps. Her process is very similar to mine. The only difference between the end caps and the tube bails is that the bails need to have a wire loop inserted and the end caps need to have one end capped, naturally.
I show a simple way of texturing a bail, but don’t forget that you could also make smooth bails and then add swirls, dots, flowers or whatever else you like and then do one more baking. This would make the bail more of a focal piece than an accent, but with the right pendant it might be just what it needs.