Sunday, December 9, 2007

Adventures With Polymer Clay: What I Learned from the Polymer Clay Experiment

Making polymer clay beads is like toasting marshmallows. In the picture on the right, see how nice and white the beads are? Like marshmallows, they are very white as you push the skewer through them. Upon toasting, however, they turn a golden brownish yellow in color. White polymer clay behaves the same way. Yes, I went in thinking I'd have nice white polymer clay beads. They came out looking like bone chips. Oh well, round one was a complete let down. The final product picture is too hideous to share. The metal rack in the picture is a tool I highly recommend. It comes with metal pins that serve the purpose of putting holes through the center of your beads, but it also keeps the beads from flattening during the baking process. I placed the rack on a cookie sheet for ease of putting the baking rack in and taking it out of the oven.

Round two: Sparkling red and green clay swirled together to make round and long tube beads, as well as a Christmas tree pendant. I used my clay plunger tube to make square and round shapes with the silvery gray clay. Turns out Christmas trees are a really good first timer's pendant to make. The mistakes end up looking like pine needles. I recommend investing in some bead rollers, because there was great variation in the sizes of the beads I made. I recently purchased a bead roller (AMACO Professional System, Set 1) . Don't let the picture on the box fool you, it only makes two sizes of oblong beads, 1/2" and 5/8". The picture implies about 4 different shapes of beads, but I guess that's what the other sets are for! Nonetheless, I can't wait to use my new toy. The plunger makes different shapes with your clay, and it is great for creating uniformly shaped beads or shapes to decorate pendants with, however, it requires a great deal of hand muscle power, which I lack.

The final product:

I used the tree polymer clay pendant and beads to create this braided green wire Christmas necklace. You can see the full item description and price in my Etsy shop here:
Like all of my other holiday items, it's on sale, buy one get one half off!


Sheikasaurus Rex said...

It could be that the beads were kept in the oven for too long? I bake white beads all the time and if I'm not *very* careful they brown too. try baking it for half the time you did the first time, especially if they're small.

Good luck!

A Keeper's Jackpot said...

Thanks for the advice Deambusamor!