Single-Strand Necklace with Kato Polyclay™ and Swarovski Crystal Beads

Create Kato Polyclay™ leaves then wrap them around crimp beads fixed onto Accu-Flex® professional-quality beading wire. The flowing, organic design of the leaves and the necklace allows your creativity to shine as you shape the leaves, giving them your unique touch.

Design tip: The larger your cane, the more projects you can use the leaves for. If you are just making the ''Fall Leaves'' necklace, you can make your canes smaller.

Condition one 2 ounce block of each of the following colors: yellow, red and black.

Make a ''Skinner Blend'' gradient sheet of clay using yellow and red Kato Polyclay.

Mix a small amount of black with a section of red.

Design tip: A little of the black makes a big impact on the red so use a very small amount.

Make a second gradient sheet using another section of yellow and the red mixed with black. Design tip: The black will tone the red down, giving the final leaf cane a nice dimensional effect.

Make as many gradient sheets as you like; each will add overall diversity to your leaf canes and the final necklace.
Fold one of the gradient sheets in half and pass it lengthwise through the Poly-Roller™ machine on the thickest setting.

Step down the Poly-Roller two notches and run the gradient through again, thinning and lengthening the clay sheet.

Step down the Poly-Roller two more notches and run the gradient through again. Design tip: The gradual step down is important as it helps to create a blend in the colors and in your final leaf canes.

Repeat this step with the rest of the gradient sheets.
Using one gradient sheet, begin to roll the yellow edge into a small, tight roll. Once this tight roll is even along the length of the sheet, continue rolling the clay tightly (preventing any air from being trapped), until the entire sheet is in a log form.

Design tip: Depending on your creative preference you can place the yellow color on the outside or the inside of the log. The following illustrations show both variations.

Continue rolling up the gradient sheets, alternating which color you start rolling from, beginning some with the yellow side and some with the red side. Design tip: The logs will be assembled into a leaf cane and having some logs with yellow centers and some with red will give a nice effect to the finished leaves.
Roll the conditioned black clay to the second-thickest setting on the Poly-Roller. Trim the sheet to fit one of the gradient canes. Wrap the sheet around the cane and press the seams together neatly and evenly.Design tip: Be sure to keep the ends from overlapping so you prevent a section of the black from being thicker in one area than another.

Continue to wrap the gradient canes with black clay, conditioning more black clay if needed.
The gradient cane will need to be cut into quarters, like a pie. This is challenging to do when the log is long so it is recommended to shorten the cane. To turn the gradient cane into more of a squatter log shape, place the end of one wrapped gradient cane onto your work surface. Press down on the log, so the clay begins to expand out. Turn the log over and repeat. Continue turning and pressing so the clay reduces evenly, and this ensures the cane does not flare too much on either end.
Using the Super Slicer blade, carefully cut the cane into quarters.
Slightly flatten the pointed tip of one quarter of the cane then pull the black outer wrapping around the red and the yellow, forming a leaf shape.

Repeat for all four pieces of the quartered cane.

Repeat for each of the gradient canes.
Piece four ''leaf'' segments from Step 7 into a leaf or flower pattern cane.

Design tip: Each finished cane will come out different and it is the variations that will give your design your signature.

Add four single leaf canes to the cane you started in Step 8.

Design tip: You will see the leaves or flowers emerging in a pattern as you build the canes larger and larger.
Once you are pleased with your new cane, cut it in half, across the diameter, not lengthwise. Press the two pieces together so they are side by side, creating a mirror image.
Cut two lengths of Accu-Flex beading wire, measuring from the middle of the back of your neck to as far as you want the necklace to hang. Using crimping pliers, crimp the crimp beads wherever you want a leaf to be positioned. The leaf wraps around the crimped crimps and once it is baked, the leaf will not move up and down the Accu-Flex beading wire.
Pass the end of one length of Accu-Flex through a crimp bead, through the jumpring of the clasp and back through the crimp bead. Using the crimping pliers, crimp the crimp bead to secure the clasp.

Design Tip: Use a ceramic tile when adding the leaves to the necklace as it makes a great work surface as well as a portable one that can tolerate the heat of the oven. This eliminates the need to move the necklace once it is assembled and ready for baking.
Using the Super Slicer blade, cut the leaves to a 3/16 inch thickness.

Design Tip: I prefer to cut the leaves to 3/16 inch as it allows enough clay for shaping the leaf around the crimp bead. Experiment with different thicknesses until you find the thickness you are comfortable with.

Add the leaves to the crimps by wrapping the leaf around the crimp. You can vary the look of the leaves by wrapping one end or the other around the crimp. Make sure to press the crimp into the clay and adjust the leaf to your desired shape.

If you used a different working surface than a tile, transfer the necklace to a tile or baking sheet then place it in into the oven.

Cut extra leaves from your cane and place them on your tile or baking sheet. These will be test pieces used to ensure the leaves in your necklace are cured correctly.

If you are using a home oven, make an aluminum foil tent around the tile or backing sheet so the polymer is contained while baking, and not left behind on the walls of your oven.

Bake the necklace at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Before you remove the necklace, remove a test leaf, let the leaf cool to touch then twist and pull on it to make sure it is completely cured. If the leaf doesn't hold up to the test, wait another five minutes then test the second test leaf. Once a test leaf is proven to be cured sufficiently, remove the necklace and let it cool completely before wearing.

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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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