Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Great Cover Up

Every January finds me wanting to clean up and reorganize closets and drawers. Well earlier this month, while doing just that, I found a sack full of old beads....I'm talking A LOT of beads! Ugly beads I made years ago when I first started learning and experimenting with polymer clay. (Admit it, every beginner has them.) Well, I questioned what I would ever do with them all. I certainly didn't like them any more (and I'm pretty sure no one else would) and I couldn't just throw them away! Then I remembered......some famous artists, like Picasso and Van Gogh, painted over, or covered up, some of their original paintings. Whether they felt their first attempts were failures or they just didn't have the money to buy more canvas, they persevered and kept painting. So with that thought in mind, I took out a couple dozen beads from that sack, feeling pretty certain I could do better this time around.
This was a pretty messy job and a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I wanted to change the shape of the beads and was hoping to be able to cut them clean in halve but that didn't happen. Polymer clay is tougher than I thought! I don't know if it was me, the knife, or the brand of clay. Some cut fairly easy while others chipped and crumbled. But none of them gave me two perfect halves.

Once I had several halves I experimented with covering them in different ways. Some I covered with slices of a skinner blend bullseye cane and I added texture using rough sandpaper. For some, I covered them with a thin layer of solid blue clay and then imprinted lines around them. And for others I used some dry, chopped up clay much the same way I used to make some ring dishes last year. (You can find those instructions here).
They remind me of something you might find washed up on shore somewhere!

After they were cured (and a little white paint added to the blues) I was pretty happy with the results so I decided to make a few more, using some more of my "ugly" beads in various other shapes. 

So much better, don't you think? I really love the organic look. I'm so glad I decided to keep on trying! I'll be listing these soon in my Etsy shop. I don't have time to make them into jewelry. I have more beads to cover up!