Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday's Tutorial

How to use scrap polymer clay from Hazel at Continuum Designs.
I see so many fabulous things done with polymer clay and each time I have had a go it ends up a sticky blobby mess, so disappointing.
I have seen beautiful focal beads

Gorgeous sculptural beads

and simply beautiful sets of beads all created with canes handmade by the artist and formed into beads

Hazel from Continuum Designs has kindly allowed me to share this great tutorial on what to do with scrap pieces of polymer clay, if only mine didn't turn to mush!
This tutorial isn't going to revolutionize the claying world. I'm not even entirely sure it qualifies as a tutorial per se; it's essentially a simple little design tweak I use whenever I have scrap Skinner blend pieces or cane ends.

In short: gather scrap clay in various colours and scrunch them together. You're aiming for medium sized 'blocks' of colour, as these work best, so break up or cut and re-assemble the clay until you're happy with it, then work it into your desired shape and pierce a stringing hole.

Roll a very thin snake of black clay; the thinner, the better (or just use an extruder like a sensible person. I.E. not me)

Using the thin string of black, outline all the boundaries between the different colours, nudging the clay string gently so it conforms to the pattern of the bead. Where the clay colours are starting to blend, pick the most interesting path to follow.

Place a piece of baking paper around the bead and gently press the black lines into the bead to make sure they're adhered properly.

Bake bead.

Sand bead.

Glaze bead.

Go do something else.

Thanks Hazel.
For more information on Hazel and her beautiful polymer clay designs visit her website

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