Friday, July 20, 2018

Polymer Clay Journey: Video - Creating A Fantasy Gemstone Pendant Part #1

I just listed this great piece in my Etsy shop! Just click here to see! 
Been having great fun creating fantasy style pendants using polymer clay, gemstones and nail art powders that have colour shifting abilities. They are called chameleon and the Pear Ex mica powders that can shift from one colour to the other are called DUO.

Since I have completed about four pendants, it seemed best to share each pendant in separate videos to avoid one long boring one! Because creating is my main focus I don't get to turn each piece into a tutorial, but I do try to take process photos so I can share my work as it happens and afterward. Then I can offer some hopefully useful information, that might inspire you to create an artistic piece of jewellery.

A Side Note: A watcher recently commented on one of my non-tutorial videos about how it would be more interesting to watch, if I showed the making "it" process. So I am writing the following to address their comment. Of course I also have tutorials as they happen too and Kudos to those great artists who faithfully create tutorials, I know how much time, planning and work it takes to put them together. As much as I love teaching the art making process, and wish it was easier to film/edit and upload tutorials. Because I have physical restrictions,  my husband has to be home to help me set up and move around my camera. So I definitely do the tutorials when I can. Since taking photos is fairly easy for me, I can compile them to make videos like the one below. It may not be a detailed "how to make it," tutorial, but I do hope it stimulates those creative juices!
WATCH here right below:
I used...
πŸ’“It is easier to work on a ceramic tile that you can slip into the oven once you are done.
πŸ’“ Keep your tools and surfaces clean with rubbing alcohol and baby wipes
πŸ’“ A dark mix of Premo polymer clay
πŸ’“ chameleon nail art powders
πŸ’“ A largish gemstone cabochon (a Labradorite stone -about 30mm x 20mm).
πŸ’“ flatback crystals
πŸ’“ Liquid Polymer Clay or Bake and Bond
πŸ’“ Shaping and sculpting tools
πŸ’“ Dedicated baking pan, ceramic tile, aluminium foil to cover clay while baking.

The Process
My clay pieces are one of a kind so I can't tell you exactly how to copy anything. Instead, I am here to encourage you to create your own original work. Looking at the pictures for ideas, create your piece. Many artists pre-plan their work, sketching and drawing it out. If you follow my youtube channel and/or this blog, you know that is not how I create. When it comes to art making, there is no right or wrong way. Planning happens if I need to, but usually I just go with the urges to create. Whimsicalness is key.

What makes this a "fantasy" design? It is up to you, but I think using lots of decorative swirls and flowing forms  help achieve that feel. As well, using shimmery sparkly bits and pieces makes me think fantasy. Fantasy is something imaginative, not real - think Lothlorien, the Elvish home from the Hobbit/Lord of The Rings. No, I am not an expert in labelling design styles, this is my opinion only πŸ˜ƒ

The work of others inspire me. Materials inspire me. God's creation, always inspiring. I just gather what I need and begin building my piece. What is important is making it visually interesting using, line, shape, texture, colour and other elements of design.

The main step is set your cabochon in with a clay bezel and the rest is up to you. Keep reading to learn about bezels and cabochons, these are two key words used in my pendant design. 

Cabochon/Bezel Talk
You need to set your stone with a clay bezel....
Until today, I though cabochons were beads without a hole. Turns out I had it wrong, cabochons are polished, shaped stones that aren't faceted. Working with polymer clay and gemstone cabs means that we can make jewellery pieces without being a metal smith, because you can form your own bezel to hold the stone.

What is a bezel? If you are reading this or watching it on a screen then you see a large bezel every day. The bezel is the part that goes around the stone (or computer/tv screen) edges to hold it in tightly.  If you have a ring, you can probably see prongs holding on to the stone. We can set the stone with a clay prong type bezel, you just need to make sure it is well secured. I prefer pushing the stone into the clay and either letting the clay gently slip around the edges of the cabochon and letting it "hug" the stone enough to be secure. As long as it grabs just the edge well it will be secure.

You just need to barely capture the cabochon's edge with clay and it will be secure. Depending on the look you want, you can just lay it flat on the clay surface and then place a thin or wide strip of clay around the cabochon. Whichever way you choose, be sure to smooth and shape your bezel accordingly.

Decorate It!
Once the stone is secured, I decorate/design it,  building around the stone's bezel, creating a one of a kind pendant! Of course you can use the same method to set a gemstone for other pieces, like a journal cover or a brooch pin.
The fun escalates as the clay is shaped and placed down as I think it looks best. If you don't like what you did, remove it and re-do it. The beauty of polymer clay

Choose A Cabochon to Use...I used Labradorite
See the blue flash in the labradorite!
The stone I used for this pendant is one of my faves, Labradorite. God's amazing creations come in so many forms, these rocks included. What makes these one of my favourites is that they are fairly affordable (I buy mine on Ebay, from India mostly - under free shipping), that helps. But they also have an incredible feature that enables them to reflect amazing colours. The iridescence or what is often called "flash," or "labradoressence," is gorgeous.  They have a variety of colour possibilities, with really beautiful lines and depth. I suggest you read more about them by clicking here.

Make Your Own Faux  Stone
If you want to make your own version, there are great polymer clay faux stone tutorials online. Here is a favourite, Ludmila Bakulina's tutorial here.
Once my piece was done, I made sure I had a place to suspend my pendant (do that in the beginning.) Then I used liqiud clay to secure crystals and brushed the coloured powders.
I always bake my pieces for an hour or more. (if your oven if the correct temperature, you can never burn the clay.) 

Bake the piece on a ceramic tile, with foil or baking pan covering it. I completed the back after with liquid clay and textured raw clay- baking it again.
Final step, I used UV Resin.

HeArtfully Creating,

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A BERGIE CREATION - at Etsy, my handmade jewelry shop

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