Single-Strand Necklace with Vitrium® Clay and Swarovski Crystal Pearls and Beads

Vitrium is an air-dry clay that yields porcelain-like results. It has translucency, delicacy and the ability to be colored for varied results. Vitrium can be rolled very thin; it remains flexible and dries sheer. Applying lotion liberally to your hands allows you to work with the clay without it sticking to your hands as well as keeps the clay pliable longer. Unused portions must be kept double bagged in an airtight plastic wrap as it is an air-dry clay; once dry it cannot be reconstituted.

This pendant, made using Vitrium elements, conveys a vintage, delicate floral theme with vintage brooches as the inspiration. It is paired with beautiful platinum Swarovski pearls for a true vintage effect. Find your inspiration to create a piece perfect for you.
Break off a piece of translucent Vitrium that is about the size of a medium strawberry. Apply seven dabs of a blue highlighter and three from a green highlighter, to create a pale turquoise color. Knead until the color is uniform throughout. Wrap in plastic cling wrap.

Repeat to create as many colors as you'd like for your design; recipes for colors used in the finished necklace:

Pale blue--8 dabs of blue highlighter in translucent clay

Turquoise--10 dabs of blue highlighter and 2 of a green highlighter in opaque Vitrium

Green--7-8 dabs of green highlighter in opaque Vitrium

Dark yellow--2-3 dabs of golden rod yellow marker in opaque Vitrium

Orange--6-7 dabs of orange highlighter in opaque Vitrium
Place a large strawberry-sized piece, or size suitable for your finished design, of translucent, uncolored Vitrium onto a Teflon sheet. Place the purple slats on either side of the Vitrium. Using an acrylic roller, roll across the clay until it is level with the slats.
Using a craft knife, cut the rolled out clay into the shape needed for the base of your design. This layer will not be seen but will be what all your elements are added to.

Roll out the turquoise clay between blue slats. Using a teardrop-shaped cutter or a craft knife, cut out two dozen petals. Use a flower-shaped cutter or craft knife to cut out the flower-shaped base.

Cover the petals with plastic cling wrap while you build your flower to keep them from drying out too soon. Mist them with a bit of water if needed.

Place a petal on the outside edge of the flower base. Press the dental tool into the center of the petal to create a vein and to press the two layers together. If you find the petal is not sticking to the base, use Vitrium liquid as an adhesive. Reapply lotion to your hands if the clay is sticking to your hands.

Place petals around the perimeter of the flower base and then step inward to create another layer. Continue to layer inward until you have covered the base and created a little bit of height in the center of the flower. Use the tool to shape the petals as well as to lift the tips.
Using water, moisten the base of the flower and the area on the backing layer where you want to place the flower. Apply pressure to create a bond between the two layers. If needed, apply a layer of the Vitrium liquid to use as an adhesive.

Continue forming flowers and leaves according to your design, using the different colors you have created and creating different shapes using cutters or a craft knife. Press the elements into the white base layer, using tools and pressure to bond the two surfaces together.
For additional accents, thread beads onto headpins. Using flush-cutters, trim the headpins to 1/4 inch long. Determine where you want to add the beads. Add a dab of The Ultimate! adhesive to the wire then press into place.

Tip: Sometimes, as the clay dries and shrinks, the wire from the headpins used to attach pearls and crystals to the front, poke through. If needed, use flush-cutters to trim the headpins so the back is smooth.

Once your backing layer is complete, allow it to dry completely--this could take up to 3 days depending on the dimension of your piece and your climate. Once dry, the translucent clay will no longer seem opaque. Apply a light coating of the Vitrium liquid to any areas that are thin to prevent cracking. Coat the smaller accents and anything that isn't sticking together. Keep in mind that the liquid will darken and add a yellowish tint to the clay. In the finished design, the liquid was not added to any leaves or flowers except as an adhesive.
Position round-nose pliers about 1/3 inch from the loop on one eyepin. Form the wire of the headpin around the nose of the round-nose pliers to form a hook shape, similar to a French earwire. Repeat to create two.

Use the Ultimate! adhesive to attach a formed eyepin to each side of the back of the base so the loops are extended just above the outside edge.
Trace the outline of the pendant onto a piece of leather. Use scissors to cut the shape out then glue in place to cover the back and the wire hooks, making sure the loops from the hooks are still accessible.
Place a pearl onto an eyepin. Form a simple loop to capture the pearl, creating a beaded pearl component. Repeat to create 32 pearl components.

Connect 16 pearl components together then, using two jumprings, add half of the toggle clasp to one end. Using another two jumprings, connect the other end to one hook on the pendant.

Repeat connecting 16 pearl components together then, using two jumprings, add half of the toggle clasp to one end. Using another two jumprings, connect the other end to the loop on the other side of the pendant.

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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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