I wanted to do something a bit different for the blue focal beads I made this week of my 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge. I started off with some dissolving packing peanuts which I threaded onto wire and wrapped with strings of polymer clay. I couldn’t find my extruder, so the snakes are more irregular and shorter lengths than I had intended. Then I added some spots and dots both for decorative purposes and for structural support to keep adjacent strings joined.
After I’d baked it, I dissolved the packing peanuts in water. I left gaps because I wanted the interaction of internal and external space, but I think I took it too far. As I was contemplating if it would be structurally sound, I dropped it and it broke in two places. I set about repairing it with liquid clay and more dots, but each time I baked it to cure the new clay it broke in a new place (I think due to the polymer clay being softer when warmed up).
I also made a focal flower bead using thick slices of cane which was safer bet both structurally and aesthetically.
Then I decided I liked the two pieces together, so I attached the flower bead using fine wire and glass seed beads.
I added a few more dots to cover up the wire joins and when I baked those it broke again :(. Now we’ve reached a truce – I won’t touch it, and it won’t break anymore. So it’s an interesting look, but I need to work out some structural issues.