A few weeks ago a friend and customer of mine asked me to re-create a pair of earrings for her friend. The petals on one earring were broken and they looked quite worn out and dirty. I had a look at them and discovered that they were made from a different material (not polymer clay), it was white underneath layers of colour. To figure out how to make similar earrings I had to take them apart. And then I just played around and experimented. I bought a freesia cutter to use for the top bit and used a small round cutter for the bottom bit. I also changed the design as I don’t want to copy things.
After finishing this pair I mailed my friend the images and she was happy with the result. Which gave me the idea to make more of these but changing the design and use mainly polymer clay.
I have recently bought some Fimo effect in Agate and Rose Quartz and thought that together they make a lovely combination. So I created the flower parts with these colours and used up the rest I had from the commissioned earrings. Instead of just using glass or metal beads I decided to create my own polymer clay beads with these colours. Something I have never done before. And these beads are fairly small, so quite fiddly to make.
Before I could use my clay I had to leach it – because Fimo effect clays tend to be very soft and tricky to work with. To leach it I rolled out the clay on a high setting on my pasta machine and then placed it between two sheets of A4 paper. I then placed some heavy books on top of it and left it there for an hour or so. This process draws out the plasticiser from the clay. It’s a bit tricky as you don’t want to draw out too much so it’s still workable. You can see the plasticiser as a big greasy patch on the paper.
I actually overdid the leaching a bit and had to add some softener to make the clay more workable. Next I created the petals, cured them, sanded them (where necessary) and varnished them. I think with my next project I might leave the varnish out, as I quite like the matte effect.
I then formed the beads, which took a bit of practice. To do this I created fairly even thin snakes and used my new favourite tool, the Marxit Polymer Clay Ruler, which has 6 sides with grooves ranging from 3mm to 20mm. It’s very easy to use – you press it against the snake to get evenly spaced out indents. Using the indents as a guide I cut the snake and formed my beads. You can see them in the image below, just when they came out of the oven. I have a nifty bead rack for making beads and this reminds me of an Abacus.
Some of the beads needed sanding, which was quite tricky as they are so small. The varnishing was also a bit fiddly.
The final stage was simply assembling the flowers.
I hope you like them. They are now all listed on my website.
If you liked this post please share or comment below. You can also subscribe to my newsletter on the right hand side of the blog.