Single-Strand Necklace with Art Clay® Box Pendant and Cord

You'll find step-by-step instructions for this Single-Strand Necklace with Art Clay® Box Pendant and Cord project and more Art Clay projects and tutorials in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' exclusive ''Secrets to Art Clay Success'' instructional video.

Tammy Honaman, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads online "Ask the Experts" host, author and noted jewelry-making expert, guides you through seven jewelry-designing projects where you'll learn the secrets of working with Art Clay precious metal materials.

Have all supplies ready--the clay air dries so it's best to be prepared before you open the package. Tape three playing cards together, repeat for two sets. Tape two cards together, repeat for two sets.

Tip: When creating your stacks of cards, place the card with the appropriate number, face up, so you'll have a reference on how many cards thick each stack is.

Lightly oil your roller, the texture plates you'll be working with and your hands. Unwrap your clay and condition it by pressing it between your fingers for a few seconds.
Place the clay between two stacks of three cards. Roll across the clay using the roller. Flip the clay and roll again. Continue flipping and rolling until the clay is rolled to a three-card thickness.
Using the blade, trim two 1/4 inch strips off of the rolled out clay, set them onto a non-stick sheet to dry; they will be used later.
Place one stack of two cards along each edge of a textured sheet. Place the remaining clay onto the textured sheet between the stacks of cards. Using the acrylic roller, firmly roll across the surface of the clay. Once you think you have achieved your desired impression, slightly lift the clay to see if the impression is as you intended. If so, remove the clay and place onto the non-stick sheet. If not, set the clay back down and roll across the surface one more time, then carefully remove the clay from the textured sheet and flip upside down (revealing the texture), and onto the non-stick sheet, texture side up.

Tip: If you'd like, before rolling the clay out, you can place another, different, texture sheet on top of the clay and roll across it to impress a texture on both sides of the clay. The texture will mostly be visible from the front of the pendant although there will be texture along the inside edges of the box as well, which adds a nice detail.
Lightly oil the Klay Kutters™ cutter of your choice and impress it into the clay. Repeat to make a second square. If there isn't enough clay rolled out to make the second square, repeat Steps 1 and 3 to create a second textured square. Set the squares aside to dry. Drying time will vary based on conditions in the room and your environment.

Tip: To speed up the drying process, place the squares directly onto a candle warmer or on the non-stick sheet inside a dehydrator.
Using the sandpapers, polishing papers and the salon nail boards, working from the lowest to the highest grit, refine the edges and surfaces of the squares.
Using the ruler, measure 1/4 inch in from each side of the clay square and make a mark. Draw straight lines at the mark, along each edge, drawing a box within the square which will be used as a guide for placing your ''walls.''

Creating the Walls for the Box

Lay one strip, cut in Step 2, against the box drawn on the square in Step 6. Using the pen, mark the length of one side of the box onto the strip. The marks will be the guide for cutting the strip, which will become a wall.
Using the blade, cut the strip on the marks drawn in Step 7. Using the medium-grit salon nail board, file the cut ends so they are flat and flush with the marks drawn. Angle your hand so you can position the section of wall at a 45 degree angle. Rub one end along the salon nail board to bevel the end. Repeat on the other side so both ends are beveled.
Hold the beveled wall with tweezers, and using the paintbrush, apply a thick layer of paste along the edge of one side of the wall. Carefully position the wall, paste side down, along one line on the box drawn on the square.
Repeat Steps 7 - 9 adding walls to the remaining three lines of the box. Be sure to add paste to the beveled ends as you butt the next section of wall against a previously positioned wall, adhering all the walls and ends together.
Let the clay dry. Once dry, use the needle files to clean up any areas that need to be refined. Turn the box upside down and rub the top edge of the walls on a polishing paper to even up the walls.
Using the paintbrush, apply a bit of paste to the center of one wall. Take a small piece of clay and condition it. Flatten it into a thin, small rectangle and place it on the area where you applied paste. Using the paintbrush, apply water to this area to help the two pieces of clay adhere together.
Hold the bar finding with tweezers and insert the prongs (or feet) into the wet clay. Let the clay dry.
Using the paintbrush, apply a layer of paste over the ends of the bar finding to secure the finding to the clay. Let the clay dry. Refine with polishing papers. Fill any gaps with paste-type clay if necessary. Let the clay dry and refine again.
Using the paintbrush, apply a thick layer of paste along the top edge of the walls. Position the second square on top and press down lightly, adhering the top square to the walls. Let the paste dry.
Check to make sure there are no gaps along any of the seams of the walls. If there are gaps, fill them in with the paste- or syringe-type clay. Allow the clay to dry.
Refine the surfaces of the box so all areas are as clean as you can make them using the needle files, sandpapers and polishing papers.
Optional: Use the syringe-type clay to decorate one or both surfaces of the square. Extrude the clay onto one side of the pendant, in any design of your choice. Using the paintbrush, wet the surface of the box so the dried clay and wet syringe-type clay will adhere together. Gently press on the extruded syringe-type clay to secure the two together. Let the clay dry.

Once dry, check to make sure the extruded clay has adhered to the surface of the box pendant. If there are any gaps, fill in the spaces using the syringe- or paste-type clay. Let dry.
Carefully refine any areas.

Repeat Steps 18 - 19 if you want to embellish the other side of the box pendant.

Firing the Pendant with a Kiln

Once complete, ensure all dried particles of clay have been removed from the surface of the clay. While working in a well ventilated area, place a fiber blanket onto the kiln shelf. Place the pendant onto the fiber blanket. Fire the kiln to the manufacturer's recommended temperature for the recommended length of time.

Tip: The fiber blanket will lift the pendant off the kiln shelf, helping maintain the texture you created.

Once the kiln cycle has ended, let the kiln and pendant cool to room temperature.
The pendant will appear white once cooled; this is quickly remedied by changing the topography of the silver. Place the pendant onto the rubber block and, using the steel brush, brush across the surface until you achieve a silvery-satin finish. You can further enhance the shine of the silver by going over the surface with a burnisher. Complete the polishing by applying a dab of metal polish to a soft, lint-free cloth and rub onto the surface of the pendant. Follow this with the Moonshine® polishing cloth.

If you'd like to add an antique effect to your pendant, follow manufacturer's recommendations for using the liver of sulfur. After patinating, use the Moonshine polishing cloth to burnish the surface and return it to bright silver, leaving the patina in all the recesses you created with the texture.

Hang the pendant from a necklace of your choice, or incorporate your pendant into the necklace seen on the DVD by following these instructions.
Using chain-nose pliers, open the jumpring. Slip the pendant onto the jumpring then close the jumpring.
Thread onto the rubber cording, three sterling silver beads the jumpring on the pendant and the three remaining sterling silver beads.
Place a crimp end onto one end of the rubber cording. Compress the center section to secure.

Repeat Step 24 for the other end of the cording.
Remove the soldered ring that came with your S-hook clasp and save for another project. Pass one curve of the S-hook clasp through the loop of one crimp end. Pinch the curve so it meets the center of the ''S'' securely.
Link the remaining crimp end through the opposite curve of the S-hook clasp to wear your necklace.

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The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.

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