This piece is the actual project that I started with, when I first created (well, stumbled upon' my "chalk pod" technique. It can be learned in no time at all. About the time I start thinking that there are no really new techniques, I grab yet another medium from my craft stash and slap it on the clay. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but sometimes you just have to try something to see if it will work. And if it does, explore the idea further to see how you far you can push the envelope.

White, green, yellow, black and scrap polymer clay

Soft pasiel chalk sei

High gloss resin coating

2 smooth ceramic tiles

Premade silver metal clay bail

2-part epoxy

Black 3mm rubber buna cord

Craft blade knife

Paring knife

Acrylic roller

Flexible slicing blade

Wax paper

Small plastic tray

Rubber stamp

The chalk pod' colors lighten up as they are flattened and stretche Therefore, start out darker then the final desired color, with full, intense chalk coverage on your c 'palettes.'

Pastel chalks will act as a semi-release agent when your using the pcsta machine to thin the clay. However, when rolling clay throug the pasta machine at no. 4 setting or thinner, you'll need to dust the back of the clay with cornstarch cs baby powder. Gently wipe powc away with a moist paintbrush befc securing it to another piece of cla^

1 Create the chalk palettes

Roll a % cube of white clay to a Vs" (3mm) thick sheet (thickest pasta setting), cut it into thirds with a craft blade knife and secure two pieces to a ceramic baking tile and one piece to a separate tile. Two pieces will become the palettes. Clean any clay residue from your hands. Rub your finger on a light olive green chalk stick and with a quick motion, tap it onto a clay sheet in random areas. Pick up more chalk and repeat.

2 Add additional color to the palette

Apply hunter green chalk in between the olive colored areas, overlapping some of the olive green spots. If the clay seems to have more hunter green than lime, add some more lime green. Repeat adding chalk colors until there is no white clay showing. Lightly smooth over the colors with your finger. Wash and dry your hands, then create the second chalk palette in the same way, only using fuchsia and purple chalks.

3 Tint the background

Rub your finger over a light turquoise chalk stick and apply an even coat to tint the single white sheet.

4 Form the chalk pods

Using your fingerncil, a small scoop or spoon, remove divots of green of clay with a quick motion. Try to pick up some of each green color as well as some white clay.

5 Add the pod-shaped leaves

Make a square indentation around the base to limit the area your flowers will be placed. The design grows a lot as it is stretched and flattened Arrange the pods onto the clay for the leaves. When you add the flower petals, start by placing 5 to 6 larger pods spaced out from a center point as shown. Overlap the leaf ends when adding flowers.

6 Add the flowers

Secure larger purple pods to create a few more flower bases. Remove some smaller purple divots and secure 4 to 5 petals in between the larger petals. Make sure all of the petals touch other petals so there are no floating petals in the design after it's stretched.

7 Trim the clay edges

Cut out the square and remove the any excess clay. Carefully slide a dull, flexible paring knife under the sheet and lift it from the tile. Roll over your decorated sheet with a clean acrylic roller, once, in both directions to start to flatten the floral pattern.

8 Flatten the sheet

Roll through the pasta machine at the second thick est setting, turn the sheet a quarter turn and roll and the third thickest setting. Turn a quarter turn at roll at the fourth thickest setting. Trim and remove any excess light teal clay from around the shape.

9 Add a white base

Add Ye cube of white clay to the light turquoise scrap clay taken from around the project itself (do not use the colored chalk palettes). Condition them together and roll to the third thickest pasta setting. Place the sheet on a tile and secure the floral sheet on top. Roll these two layers through the pasta machine at the second thickest setting. Turn a quarter turn and roll at the third thickest setting and secure on the tile.

10 Cut the pendant shape

Using your flexible slicing blade, cut the floral pendant shape to have rounded edges. Make it taller than it is wide. This photo shows the side view, as you will turn the tile to work at the top of the shape for each side.

11 Add a green day mat

Roll a Ye" (16mm) ball of white clay. Rub light olive and a little hunter green chalk in the palm of your hand and roll the ball between your palms to coat it. Wash and dry your hands. Roll the ball into a '/a" (3mm) thick rope and secure it around the pendant, cutting the ends at an angle. Press the ends together and smooth the seam. Press the rope flat so it is even with the floral sheet. Cut off the curved edges with a slicing blade, creating a Vs" (3mm) wide mat.

12 Create the back layer

Remove both chalk palettes from the tile and place on wax paper to re-use for a future project. Secure a rubber stamp to your tile. Roll an extra-large ball of black clay at the second thickest pasta setting. Mist the rubber stamp and press the black sheet onto the clay to texture it. I used my home stamp-making kit to create leaf texture and signature stamps.

Lift the black clay, secure it to the tile with the texture side down and let it dry. Carefully lift the floral shape and secure it to the black layer. The base must be at least 3/$" (1cm) larger all around. Do not trim the base yet. Roll a (2cm) ball of clay into a V\6U (5mm) thick rope and secure it around the green mat. Press the clay flat with the pendant. Trim through all layers with the slicing blade to add a 3/i6M (5mm) wide frame. Bake the pendant as directed for this thickness. Placing it on cardstock for baking will prevent the back from becoming shiny.

14 Glaze the pendant

Place the pendant onto scrap clay risers that are secured to the back of a small plastic tray. This allows you to slide a stick under the piece to catch any drips that may form. Add a glass-like resin coating to the pendant surface and allow the finish to cure completely. Add a gloss finish such as Future floor finish to the back, and also to the side edges if they are unglazed.

When the glaze is dry, glue a pre-made fold-over style silver metal clay bail to the top center edge using 2-part epoxy. Allow enough room for your cord. When the glue is dry and cured, thread the pendant onto the cording of your choice. The sample uses thick buna cord with polymer clay end caps and a magnetic clasp.

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