Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another Bead Tutorial

Last week I wrote about making beads from some of my old, hard clay.  I mentioned the same technique could probably be done using old canes.  I hadn't tried it but figured it could be done the same way. So.......I decided to give it a try. It just so happens that I have been holding onto some ugly, brittle canes. Just when you think something is unusable....think again!

I started off the same as before, chopping up my cane with my clay blade until I had a pile of small pieces.

Since this clay was really, really dry I drizzled some liquid clay over it and mixed it all up. This is the point where things took a turn.

I was planning on painting my pieces, like previous, but I just wasn't sure it would work with this now sticky pile of clay. So.....I picked up a small amount and smooshed it together. I rolled it into a fat log and started twisting. This made the colors spiral. I flattened it out and ran it through the pasta machine. This gave me a nicely lined sheet of clay. Next, I folded the sheet in half and ran it through the pasta machine again. This started blending the lines into each other. I kept repeating this procedure until I liked the look of it.
Then....what do I do next? Hmmmm..... I remembered I had made some beads once before by wrapping a veneer around a core of scrap clay so I decided to do that! I rolled a ball of clay to use as the center of the bead, cut a strip of the lined sheet just slightly wider and wrapped it around, cutting it where the ends met up. 

Now, here's what you end up with.

Just gently pinch the ends together and slowly work the clay closed.

Then roll the bead in your hands to finish joining it all together.

The next thing I did was to add some texturing to the beads. Why? Because I absolutely hate sanding. I love the look and feel of a perfectly sanded and polished piece of polymer clay but I dread the work it takes! I especially hate sanding and polishing small round beads! Do you know how many times they get dropped???? So, I took the lazy way and added some texture to these beads by rolling them in salt and this is what I got. The only thing left to do was to pierce a hole through it. One down, several more to go.

Here's what I ended up with. Twenty rustic looking beads, all with their own unique colors. I think they look like old, distressed beads that have just been dug up at an archaeological site. (I always wanted to be an archaeologist when I was little.) Or maybe tiny planets, complete with craters! (I never wanted to be an astronaut.)

So there you have it. Yet another way to use up old dry clay!

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