You'll find step-by-step instructions for this Art Clay® Seed Pod Pendant 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.
Stir the paste-type clay using the handle of your paintbrush, bamboo skewer or other similar item.
Tip: You want to make sure you stir the paste, working all the way to the bottom of the jar, incorporating any silver particles which may have settled on the bottom.
Using the paintbrush, apply a thin coat of paste-type clay to the entire surface of the pod, getting into all areas. Set the pod onto a non-stick sheet to allow the clay to dry.
Repeat Step 2 six more times.
Repeat Steps 2 - 3 to create a second clay-covered pod.
Pinch off about 10-grams of slow dry clay from the package and condition it by pressing it between your fingers for a few seconds. Roll it into a cylindrical shape and place onto your work surface. Using the snake roller, roll across the clay, putting downward pressure on the snake roller to stretch the clay into a thin rope. As the rope begins to get longer, put more pressure on one end of the rectangle, creating a thinner end on one side of the rope. Create a rope that is approximately 4 inches long.
Using the paintbrush, apply some paste-type clay to the ''handle'' of the pod. Insert the handle of the pod onto the wider end of the rope. Secure the two together with pressure and by smoothing some of the rope onto the top of the pod.
Shape the remaining section of the rope into a nice curvy ''branch.'' While shaping the branch, set up the section where you will suspend the pod from later. Set the pod and branch onto a non-stick sheet to dry. Drying time will vary based on conditions in the room and your environment.
Tip: To expedite the drying, you can place the pod and branch into a dehydrator or set it onto a candle warmer.
Carefully refine the dried clay using the salon nail boards, sandpapers and polishing papers, working from the lowest to highest grit, and the needle files, until you are pleased with the finish of your pod and branch.
Tip: Be sure to refine the points on the end of the pod so they don't poke you when wearing your pendant.
Firing the Pod with a Kiln
While working in a well ventilated area, place a fiber blanket onto the kiln shelf. Place the pod onto the fiber blanket so the blanket cradles and supports the pod and the branch. Fire the kiln to the manufacturer's recommended temperature for the recommended length of time.
Once the kiln cycle has ended, let the kiln and pod cool to room temperature.
Repeat Steps 5 - 7 for the second pod, wrapping the new rope (branch) around the first branch. Create a nice flowing design, finishing the branch off so you have a bail to hang the pendant from later. Before the clay is dry, check to make sure the area where you placed your bail will allow your pendant to hang as you'd like it.
Tip: If you weren't able to get either of your ropes to cooperate and form a bail, roll out a new rope and add one to the top of the pendant, making sure it will be balanced the way you like when you wear it.
Set the pendant on a non-stick sheet and allow it to dry.
Repeat Steps 8 - 9 to finish the pod pendant.
Place the cooled pod pendant onto the rubber block. Using the steel wire brush, brush across the surface of the pod, getting into all the areas you can reach. Use the burnisher to get into the areas the brush can't reach. If you want to highlight a section on the pod pendant, or give it an overall higher polish, use the burnisher on the whole pendant.
For the ultimate polish, apply 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.
Hang the pendant from the stainless steel choker or cord of your choice.
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.