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Large foil core bead

A handsomely sized foil core bead (3.3cm in diameter and only 13g)

In this tutorial, I will show the process I use to make a foil core bead. This is a great method if you want to make large beads since it uses less clay, it is more economical, and the final bead is much lighter. It also means it can be baked as usual since the clay is not a large solid lump.

Scrunch foil

Scrunch up a large piece of foil (for this example it was 30cm x 30cm)

Compress foil into ball

Compress the foil as much as possible by hand

Compress foil with pliers

Compress the foil further with pliers. It's best to squeeze gently and keep rotating the ball to keep the shape nice and spherical.

Pierce foil ball

Pierce the foil ball. I like to hold the spike steady and gently rotate my bead onto it. I find this results in a more central axis. Once you can feel the very tip of the point emerging, stop and pierce from the opposite side. This will prevent a sharp rim of foil from being pushed out of the bead.

Cutter larger than bead

Choose a cutter that is slightly larger than the foil core. (You can also cut a circle out by hand).

Apply polymer clay disk

Roll out a sheet of scrap clay on a thick setting of your pasta machine and cut out two circles using your cutter. The circles will be applied to each pole.

Apply disk to other pole

Apply the second disk to the other pole. To centralise the disks I mark a point roughly in the centre and match this to the point of my piercing tool.

Foil core with polymer clay applied to each pole

Smooth the clay disks onto the foil from centre outwards. Pierce the clay to match the holes in the foil core.

Apply clay around equator of bead

Hopefully the edges of the disks will be fairly parallel. Cut a strip from you scrap clay (same thickness as disks) and wrap around the equator.

Smooth joins

Smooth out the joins on clay. I use a double sided knitting needle. Try to work from the centre of a piece of clay to the join so that air bubbles will be worked out.

Bead covering smooth

Once you have joined the seams you can roll the bead on your work surface to get a rounder shape. Once you are happy with the first layer of clay, let it rest before adding your decorations.

Decorate bead

Decorate your bead as you choose, but be sure to keep track of where the holes are and pierce before baking. Bake and finish your bead as normal.

I have an earlier post about why it is important to pierce your foil core bead before baking.