As my girls would sing “For the first time in forever…” I have made an entry for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. I do follow along every month and usually plan something, but I don’t often get to sit down and make it.
I had been thinking about making polymer clay star beads over Christmas, so I thought it would be easy peasy to make a couple for a pair of earrings. But, then I had enough clay for three stars so I thought the third would make a nice charm for a bracelet. So I made a few more beads in different shapes to make a bracelet. And a few more stars in different sizes…
In the end I didn’t use the third star charm and I now have a bowl of beads waiting to become something when they grow up. The bracelet ended up daintier than I planned. The chunkier beads in the bracelet irritated me – I think because I use my hands a lot.
Initially the earrings were just supposed to be the large star charm on the bottom hung from an ear-wire, but they grew.
The back shows a little cross-pollination with Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”.
Some of the stars twist around the wrong way but they look quite cute – like little starfish. Sometimes I feel like my sparkle is hiding on the inside too so that’s ok. 🙂
This week for my indigo colour scheme toggle I super-sized a shank button.
I made a hook from silver coloured copper wire.
I made two loops at the back so one can be used to attach the beads and the other is for the hook. I thought it would give it a better “V” shape to a necklace than using only one shank. It also means that they are off centre so it gives the option to use the focal as a slider pendant without it flipping over.
I even sanded it to make a smooth contrast to the textured bead.
The only problem now is that I think several of them would look good all joined up together to make a necklace, but I don’t know when I’ll find the time to make them.
I made the green picture first to test the frame idea. It’s 100% polymer clay with a little acrylic paint to antique the frame.
The back is inspired by the ubiquitous slate walls in this area.
For the next pendant I used marbled polymer clay to form the landscape which I accented with a bit of texture, and painted in the details of the sheep and background walls.
Again the back was inspired by dry stone walls.
The last pendant is larger, more of a medallion than a miniature painting. Again I started with marbled polymer clay to form a basic landscape which I accented using heat set paint.
The bail and edging is intended to suggest the dry stone walls.
The pendant is a hollow lentil which I made in two parts and joined together. The back makes slightly less sense as it is from a sheet of kaleidoscope cane veneer that I had left over on my work surface. It makes a nice pendant on its own, but perhaps it doesn’t work with the rustic stone edging. However, instead of making a more refined faux metal bail, I decided to be true to the front of the pendant. It probably would have made more sense to make a faux stone back too.
In my previous post I mentioned that I’d been working on something other than my Spectrum Year, and now I’m baaa-ck to show you what. From 12th to 19th September it will be Sheep Fest in Sedbergh, so I have been making lots of polymer clay sheep :).
I started off by finishing the dry stone wall pendants that were a WIP earlier this year. I made a new stone effect frame for the sheep scene with a bigger hole to see the details inside. The back of the pendant is rough and cracked in keeping with the rustic stone wall theme.
I made a new sheep scene to go into the original dome. I also got a little carried away adding moss to the wall.
I used the crackled components I’d made earlier to complete a necklace.
But I didn’t stop there – I made plenty more, and they’ll be following shortly in another blog. I’ll be taking these, and the other sheepy goodies to the Craftworkshop on Saturday. Sheep Fest was great fun last year, so if you are near Sedbergh, be sure to stop by!
Click here for part 2.
I spent my clay time this weekend working on something else, so I went back to my comfort zone yesterday and made some more patchwork beads for this week of my 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge.
They are always fun to make.
But what was I working on this weekend? I’ll be baaa-ck soon to show you 😉
I was tempted to make more shank buttons this week for my indigo colour palette toggle, but then I realised time was running out for me to try some of the more interesting toggle mechanisms I’d planned at the beginning of the year.
This clasp is formed from two hooks. By aligning the angular cut holes of the two pieces at 90°, they slide together to form a chain link. It’s very satisfying to open and close :D.
The clasp is based on one from a chunky wooden bead necklace that I found in a charity shop, but I’ve made mine from polymer clay instead of wood. It took a few prototypes to get this far, and it is still a work in progress.
The first couple of clasps were a bit too flexible for my liking, but I didn’t really want to make everything a lot bigger and thicker. I put wire inside the third attempt as reinforcement, but you can just see it peeping through on the inside of the hole.
From the photos above it looks like I’ve cracked it, but turn one of the hooks over and there’s wire sticking out. I lost track of which side had the gap in the wire for cutting the hole through, and I chose the wrong place. Doh!
I’ve given the link a good pull apart and although the loops do flex open slightly (the one without the wire noticeably more so) I think a necklace made using the clasp would survive a tug from a toddler. So on the bright side cutting the wrong side helps to prove that the wire does provide some support, but also that I need to think of a way to keep track of where to cut ;).