Basic metal clay materials and tools

25gm silver PMC3 (metal clay)

Two sizes of plastic drinking straws

Various textures (rubber stamps, texture sheets, etc.)

Liver of sulfur (optional patina solution)

2 Create a negative mold

If you'd like your metal clay to duplicate the raised rubber stamp design, you must first maki an "innie" mold. Run a sheet of scrap clay through the thickest pasta machine setting. Misl the area of the rubber or stamp with water and press clay onto the design. Remove the clay, allow the mold to dry and bake for the recommended time.

I have listed a little more metal clay under "materials" than you might need for the project. I feel it is better to have a little extra, than not enough.

1 Make the test bails

I'm not used to clay drying out as I work, so I always create test bails with non-metal polymer clay before I even open my metal clay package. To do this, roll some scrap polymer clay on the second thickest pasta machine setting. Experiment by adding different textures and ciri] out various bail shapes. (The metal embossing tool pictured has a large herringbone pattern). Drape the bail shapes over drinking straws and| see how they perform. There is no need to bal these samples unless you'd like to keep them fc reference. As you can't bake the straws, replat them with rolled-up pieces of foil.

3 Add texture and cut the bails

Place a stack of 3 playing cards on each side of a nonstick craft sheet. Rub a thin layer of oil on the rolling rod, place the metal clay on the sheet and roll with the rolling rod to flatten. The thickness will become equal with the height of the cards. Brush oil onto the texturing tool (whether that be a stamp, rubbing plate, polymer clay mold or metal embossing tool) and use it to apply the texture design to the clay. Lift the metal clay and place it on a nonstick craft sheet. Cut out the final bail shape with a craft blade knife.

4 Shape the bails

Drape the bails over a small or regular-sized drinking straw, depending on the space required for your cording and the clay piece. If your polymer clay piece will be thick, use two straws side by side as seen in the leaf bail (bottom center). Allow -hem to dry until they are leather-hard and then carefully slide them off of the straw. Let them completely dry. The pieces are still very fragile at this point, so handle them carefully. Lightly sand any rough edges with 600-grit sandpaper.

5 Fire, burnish and buff the bails

Torch-fire the bails individually, then burnish. You may add a patina if desired to darken the impression of the texture by using a liver of sulfur solution after the piece is burnished. Follow the directions on the liver of sulfur container to dissolve one chunk. Have a separate glass of cold water close by to stop the patina process when you're satisfied with the result. I use a large paper clip to hold my pieces while dipping them. Buff the bails with buffing paper (bottom right) to bring up the shine on the raised areas.

6 Secure the bails

Here are four finished samples. The top left bail has been burnished and dipped for a short time into the sulfur patina. At the top right is the text bail. It was dipped for a longer time in the patina until it became brown. The bottom left bail was just burnished and buffed with buffing paper and the bottom right bail was dipped the longest in the sulfur and then buffed slightly. Secure the bails to your clay pendants using a two-part epoxy adhesive.

: cf the bail samples in these instructions have been ro various pendants throughout the book.


Although each project in this section uses one or more techniques and mediums, the jewelry pieces are grouped together by one prominent material that has been added. You'll find projects with artists' soft pastel chalks, heat-activated transfer techniques, silver and gold leaf, embossing powders, techniques for tinting liquid polymer clay, metal clay additions, mini-mosaic projects and even felting techniques and fun fibers for a soft but spectacular finale!

When you are using orand new pastel chalks, rub the flat surfaces of the sticks with a cotton swab to slightly rough them up. You will be able to achieve a more saturated color application.

Altered Pastel Brooch

Our first project uses the chalk-scraping technique, which is a good starting point. I could have easily named this project "Sprinkle, Smear and Twist," as that is what you'll be doing to alter the pattern for this fun sur-treatment. If you are not new to polymer clay, pull out your scraps, as we'll be making a clay mold first. If you are a newbie, you can use new clay for this step until you build up your own collection of scraps, trust me, you will!

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment