Layered Textured Necklace
Layered Texture Necklaces
Whether you are new to metal clay or an accomplished artisan, this layering idea inspires beautiful combinations of color and texture. These flat, center-hole beads are a great solution for the small pieces of clay you have left over at the end of the pack.
- Lightly coat the surface of roller, hands and texture mat with Badger Balm.
- Condition each piece of clay before using by gently kneading and compressing into a smooth ball.
- Flatten a ball of clay into the general shape of a circle and place in the middle of one section of Celtic Border (SM2-CTBD). Place the Game Board Mat (SM2GMBD) on top and roll gently - in all directions - until the clay is one slat thick (three cards). Gently pull the clay off and lay on Teflon mat. Cut out bead using a two inch cutter placed on the Celtic Border side of the clay. Cut out the center with a straw or small round cutter from PCCS depending on the size of hole you want.
- Several of our beads were made with Abstract Grids (SM3-ABGR). This versatile mat is one of my favorites, so I have cut this small piece out of two of the mats. After gently forming a flat circle with the clay, I place it on one mat and put the other small identical piece of the same mat on the top and press down. Pressing around the outside more than the center will produce a bead needing very little clean up. Cut the hole in the center as desired. Don’t forget to try it in Prometheus Copper or Bronze clay for a nice accent.
- You can also make an interesting round bead with PMC3 syringe. Draw the approximate size of the circle you want your bead to fill, as well as the center of the circle on a piece of parchment paper. Starting in the center, apply the clay around the circle until you have reached the size you need. Let dry in place and touch up with a paint brush and water as necessary.
- Another large bead was made with the Jester mat (SM2-JS TR) on one side and the Rough Diamonds Mat (SM2-RDIA) on the opposite side. Lay your flattened circular clay between the mats and roll to a depth of one slat (three cards). Let the clay set for a few minutes to firm up a little and cut out the center of each diamond with the small leaf shape pattern from the Pattern cutter set (PCS5). You can cut out one hole for the center or as many as you like. We removed the center of all diamonds as well as some of the edge. After all the small holes have been cut out, use a 2-inch cutter to cut out the bead. Note that if you try to cut the outside shape first, the rim becomes distorted when you cut out the inner circles.
- The smallest beads were made with smmall sections of various mats. I roll a ball of clay, presss it on a mat, place another mat over it and, using my fingers, I press down, with a little extra pressing around the edges. Pull each flattened piece of clay from the mat and make a hole. Get into the habit of making beads with the leftover pieces of clay at the end of a pack and soon you’ll have a wide selection.
- Let all your beads dry, clean them up if needed, and fire. You can usually fit a few beads in any firing, around your bigger pieces.
- Burnish your beads, tumble, and patina with Liver of Sulfur or Jeweler’s Black if desired. Burnish with an agate burnisher and polish with 2”x2” Ultra Polish pads.
- Hang in combinations on the cord of your choice or incorporate the beads in other creations. It’s great to have that supply of handmade beads ready to finish a project or make some new ones!
This fall we have been concentrating on versatile pieces that you can mix and match for gifts or sales. In keeping with that theme, try a few flat, center-hole bead necklaces. The combinations are endless and fun to put together. Try looking at all your texture surfaces in a new way.