Recently I was working on some cane construction, After mixing a variety of colors using Primo translucent clay, along with bits of coloured solid clay. As often happens, As I sliced off the ends of the canes, I started smooshing up the scraps. And voila, as always, A delightful, colourful surprise. In fact I often like the colourful surprises produced from smashing up clay bits So much, thatI find myself making "purposeful," scrap clay just to turn into beads or something.
Click here to see how I tweaked my Amaco Bead baking rack, thanks to the Polymer Clay Tutor's idea.
Watch the video below
if you want to dive right into How I made cylinder beads using scraps of polymer clay.
Bead Making Hints & Tips
#1 Bringing Out The Best:
Accent your beads or pendants by selecting a specific colour out out your surprise mixture.
#2 Can't Stand Up?:
I know many clay artists say t "stand up and look down to find the center of a bead before poking." If you can't stand up, like I can't, to look above, while poking a hole in your beads- just do your best to look above and down. Poke a little and hold up the bead to double check where you are.
Begin centering the piercing pin and gently twist it half way down. Then turn it around, eyeball the center again and begin to twist gently. Pick up the bead as you carefully maneuver the pin through, trying to make it travel gently through to the other side- if you go
|Some of my very first cane beads|
#3 Drills Or Needles? Raw Or Cured?
Many clay artists prefer drilling holes into beads and such after curing in the oven. One reason, because they don't know where exactly where the hole should be. I get that. But I have tried to do it after and for myself, it is much more difficult to try to hand turn a hand drill into any bead with thickness.
That being said, I have concluded that for me and anyone with hand pain, strength issues- poking holes and planning prior to curing is best. And if you want a larger hole after, it is easier to use that hand drill after a thin hole is already baked in.
#4 To Sand Or Not To Sand?
Well, again this is done a lot by many clay artists. To sand and buff to a beautiful shine is rewarding for sure. But with limited hand strength, I can not achieve the same degree of shine as others do. So if you are like me or don't want to worry about all that - don't give up or be discouraged. My life is about improvisation - figuring out how to do what you want but in a different way than others, accomplishing the same or similar end result.
Smooth, smooth, smooth. The smoother your raw clay pieces are,
|My Amaco Bead Baking Rack with Sugru|
Stir, stir, stir! I learned the hard way. If you do use polyurethane water based or even oil MINwax -is good, stir to the bottom or the glaze will be sticky and even peel off. Be gentle, bubbles are icky.
Question for you today is?
Do you like to?
A) Avoid sanding and buffing at all cost?
B) Keep your beads Au Naturelle?
C) Prefer to glaze to a glossy gloss?
D) Or Do you use a matte glaze?
E) Or does it totally depend on each bead making method?
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|My first home Made Bead glazing rack|