This is a 3 part tutorial.
Part 1 getting the clay ready
Baking instructions will be in both part 2 & 3
I will list under the supplies a few places to get some of the supplies.
Tools that come in direct contact with the clay needs to become dedicated to crafts afterwards including what you bake on. Clay can be baked in most ovens. I use a toaster oven. Never Microwave your clay.
- Polymer Clay (I recommend Premo or Fimo Classic) minimum 2 blocks I recommend a white and another color of your choice. If you want to do three or more color cool just do not go over board as to many colors will make it look too busy.
- Parchment or printer paper( a little bit of foil is nice but not required)*
- Saran wrap if using cutters and want rounded edges.*
- Roller (it can be acrylic roller, brayer, Straight sided glass, rolling pin if metal, a glass beer bottle.) It just needs to be round, nonporous, smooth and straight.
- Blade for cutting (for this technique a clay blade aka tissue blade is not required but if you have one great.) few blades you can use razor blade, utility cutter blade, it just needs to be thin.
- Small cookie cutters and Plunger cutter or Exacto knife for getting your shapes
- Glue (I use gel super glue) E6000 and epoxy will also work.
- Gloss and small paint brush(optional)
- Baking pan or 4” or 6” smooth ceramic tile(can be purchased for about 50 cents at home improvement store)
- Oven thermometer
- Glue-on ear studs
- Jump rings needed if making dangle earrings
- Eye pins needed if making dangle earrings
- Small jewelry tool kit (at least nipper, change nose pliers, round nose pliers) needed if making dangle earrings.
Small cookie cutters I like to use Makin’s which you can get at hobby lobby in the clay section they come in set of 3 graduating sizes $2
Plunger cutter Walmart in the cake decorating section they sell the in sets of 3 for $4 (do not buy these in the clay section they are a lot more expensive there and all you are doing is paying for the brand name). They are also not as small. You need small for the stud earrings
Smooth ceramic tiles (can be purchased for about 50 cents at home improvement store) I use tiles and for large items the same cookie sheet that I use for wax chunks. They are easy and cheap. Plus I do not have to worry about contaminating my kitchen items.
Gloss you can buy the sculpey gloss or use any type of clear polyurethane varnish. I use both depending on the project.
All findings can be purchase at any craft store.
I am going to use 4 colors but I am making the fourth color. My amounts are for making both earrings and vase. If you are only making earring these amount will make a lot of earrings. I will give a quick bead 101 at the end of Part 3 for any extra prepared clay that you do not use.
- Premo accent Frost White Glitter 5057 1 oz.
- Premo accents Bronze 5519 ½ oz.
- Premo Purple ½ oz.
- Premo white mixed with Premo Purple 2/1 ratio 1 oz. white ½ oz. purple
Prepare your working surface. Unbaked polymer clay can damage finishes. Just lay out a sheet of paper either the printer paper or parchment. You can also use wax paper. Wax paper or Saran wrap can be used to wrap up left over clay. It keeps it clean and nice for the next time.
If you are going to work with clay more than just this project you need to consider a more permanent working surface. I use a glass cutting board, the smooth side not the textured side. Other items that can be used the glass from a frame, 12” ceramic tile both of these can be baked on no need to move your project.
Condition the clay. What condition does is it aligns the plasticizers in the clay. They do settle when clay sits for a while.
It is kind of funny how some people will get the clay warm enough to work with but it does work. Some will sit on it for a while. They put it in their bras or the waist band of their pants. I just hold it in my hands for a while.
You want to start squeezing all around the clay. Squeeze it in to a ball and roll it in your hand for a minute or so.
Then roll it between your hands into a log.
When you log is 6 inches or more fold it in half and twist it kind of like a pretzel and squeeze back in to a ball. Repeat these steps a few times. You know the clay is conditioned when fold it in half and pinch the fold and the clay bends and but does not crack or break. Roll it back in to a ball set it aside and do the same to each of your colors.
Now we chop. Take your blade and chop each ball in to small pieces. Do not do uniform chopping have bigger and small pieces.
Then mix up all the pieces kind of like tossing a salad.
When you feel you have a good mix, gather all the pieces up and squish them in to a ball. Really compact the ball.
Now you have everything in a compact ball start rolling between your hands back in to a log.
The outside is going to elongate and give you stripes.
If you want to marble go long and fairly thin. I do not want to do that so I roll out just enough so I can fold in half and twist.
I do not take it back to a ball I roll it back in to a log
just long enough to twist again and then do a third fold. Kind of like and accordion fold but just looks like a Z.
Now we are going to turn this in to a square log. Pictures show you how I do it.
The length of your log will depend on how much clay you used.
I press my log in to a 1”X1” square.
Now that you have tortured you clay in to submission it needs a break. Let it rest for a couple of hours.
Now that your clay has taken a break, set in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes this will help you cut your clay without smooshing it too bad.
This where we separate the jar from the earrings.
Beads 101 end of Part 3
* Parchment and printer paper has a few uses 1. To bake on, keeps you pieces from getting a shiny look from the tile or metal pan. 2. You can tent your pieces so they do not burn or go dark. 3. They are also used for making template for shapes. 4. Folded like and according will keep round beads round.
Foil can be used for a tent or squished up for texture on your clay. When working with clay it has a great many uses.
I am lousy at editing myself so if you see a typo or misspelled word contact me privately and I will fix it thanks.