Bracelet, Ring, and Earrings with Kato Polyclay™, Antiqued Pewter Charms and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS
-- Designer --
Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®To learn more about Tammy Honaman, read her jewelry artist success story here
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Create a butterfly stamp or use a stamp you already have on hand. The stamp needs to create a deep impression in the polymer clay for the mica-shift technique to work properly.
To create the butterfly stamp used in this design, condition about a 1/2 ounce of polymer clay (any color). Form the conditioned polymer clay into a pad large enough to accommodate the butterfly block and about 1/2 inch thick. Spritz the block with water so it releases easily from the polymer clay. Firmly press the block into the pad of polymer clay so you capture all the details and get a clean impression. Remove the block to check your progress. If necessary, recondition the polymer clay and repeat until you are pleased with the results.
Place the polymer clay into a preheated craft oven set to 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the polymer in the oven for about 30 minutes so it cures properly.
Place the finished sheet of polymer clay onto a stable work surface that the polymer clay will stick to (a ceramic tile is ideal for this process). Press the butterfly stamp onto the surface of the polymer clay so it makes a good, clean impression.
While holding a long flexible blade, and with your hands stabilized on either side of the polymer clay, curve the blade then cut across the surface of the polymer clay, slicing a very, very thin layer off the top.
Tip: Some of the pieces you shave off will have definable shape or texture to them and will make great additions to the Kato Polyclay clear medium liquid sheets made later.
Repeat shaving until you have shaved off the raised stamped area (yet you can still see the design). Using an acrylic roller, roll across the surface and smooth the polymer clay out. The polymer clay will show the stamped design yet be smooth, giving the polymer clay a holographic look.
Set this sheet aside where it will be undisturbed.
Repeat Step 2 to create two (or more) micacolored sheets of polymer clay. Use these colors to create a sheet of mica polymer clay using the Skinner Blend technique. Repeat Step 3, impressing the Skinner-blended sheet with your favorite texture plate, deep relief stamp sheet or the same butterfly stamp made in Step 1. Repeat Step 4 to shave the relief and smooth the surface of the sheet.
Set this sheet aside where it will be undisturbed.
Create a sheet of Kato Polyclay clear medium liquid using pigment ink and the stamp made in Step 1, shavings from Step 3, metal leaf and any other inclusions you want in your design.
Position a bezel from the bracelet on the surface of one of the sheets of the mica-shift polymer clay.
Press to cut the polymer clay then remove the bezel. If needed, carefully use the fine tip of a beading awl to remove the polymer clay from the bezel, trying not to distort the cutout shape.
Repeat to create enough cutouts to fill the bracelet, the earrings and a ring, using whichever of the mica-shift sheets you like. Cure the pieces of the cutout polymer clay in the oven.
Using a bezel as a template, trace around the bezel on the surface of the cured clear sheet, then use fine-tipped scissors to cut the shape out. Trim as needed so the cutout shape fits neatly in the bezel.
Place the cutout and cured mica-shift pieces into the bezels, layering the clear sheet cutouts over the mica-shift pieces as your pattern calls for. Prepare a small batch of ICE Resin. Using a craft stick, drip prepared ICE Resin into the bezels, filling to the height of the side of the bezel, not over it.
Use the fine tip of a beading awl to reposition the polymer clay pieces, to add in metal leaf and to pop any bubbles that may have risen to the surface.
Allow the ICE Resin to cure per manufacturer’s instructions. If you would like, add a new layer to the ICE Resin to create a domed surface. Allow the new layer to cure properly before using your bezels in a finished design and before wearing.
To create the earrings as shown, cut a length of chain 27 links long. Add a jumpring to the top of the rectangle bezel then connect the jumpring to the last link on one end of the length of chain; close the jumpring. Add a jumpring to the loop on a silver butterfly charm then connect it to the last link on the other end of the chain; close the jumpring.
Place a SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal butterfly onto a headpin then finish the headpin with a simple loop. Repeat to create two. Open one of the loops and add it to the 17th link in the chain, counting from the end the rectangle bezel is connected to. Add the second butterfly drop 6 links further down toward the silver butterfly.
Place a Swarovski crystal butterfly onto a headpin. Begin a wrapped loop, forming just the loop. Open the loop and link it to the same link the silver butterfly charm is connected to. Finish the wrap to secure the crystal butterfly drop in place.
Open a jumpring and pass it through the 16th link from the rectangle bezel and through the loop on an earwire. Close the jumpring.
Repeat Steps 9-10 to create a second earring.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is proud to feature your artwork, and we invite you to submit images of your favorite projects to the Customer photographs section. Here's how you can be included:
- Email your name and attached image to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please describe your project (ie: necklace, bracelet, home décor) and include the main components of your design, if known.
- If you've named your piece, please let us know!
- Photos should be a minimum of 500x500 pixels (or 6.94 inches)
- To best showcase your artwork, place dark designs on a light background and light artwork on a dark background.
- For additional photography tips, click here.