Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jewelry and Polymer Clay

I've been making jewelry for many years, but I'm always learning something new. 

Years ago, I took a polymer clay class and learned how to cover a pen.  It was fun, but when I went home and baked my pen, the plastic inside melted and I couldn't get the ink cartridge back inside--and there was a nasty smell while it was baking.  I knew something went wrong, but I had no clue what.

Last year, I decided I wanted to make polymer clay beads to add some pizzaz to my jewelry and I began searching around the internet for information.  I learned some interesting things, but it wasn't until I found Cindy Lietz's Blog and Tutorials that I really began to learn about polymer clay--including why I burned that clay-covered pen and how to avoid doing it again.

Here are some photos of clay beads and jewelry made from clay beads that I've created since then from Cindy's tutorials.

The first photo is my very first clay bead.  It was actually supposed to be something totally different, a technique called Mokume Gane.  That failed, so I played with the clay and this pendant is what I ended up with.  Considering that it was born from a mistake, I was pretty pleased with it at the time, but I didn't have anything to hang it on.  I put it on a piece of ribbon, tied a bow at the back of my neck, and wore it out to dinner that night.  I thought I would have to make a beaded strand to hang it on, but shortly after that Cindy made a Cord Ends Tutorial, which showed me how to attach a clasp to my ribbon.   

The next thing that I learned from Cindy was how to make a Lentil Bead.  They're really fun to make and quite beautiful when they're finished.  The center of the bead has a swirl in it.  Here are a couple of my lentil beads.

Another thing that I learned from Cindy was how to form a Heart Bead.  Every time I wear either of these necklaces, strangers tell me how much they like them!


When I created the next bead, I was attempting to do something quite different, but again had a happy accident.  I was attempting to make an Extruder Flower Cane, but my extruder wasn't the brand that Cindy uses, and it wasn't cooperating.  I managed to get a short piece of flower cane, but mostly I ended up with ribbons of clay.  They were quite beautiful, so I made this Fantasy Bouquet bead, added crystal rhinestones to the top swirls, and put a pinback on it.

Here are a few more beads that I've created:  Torn Watercolor beads, which look like they were covered with torn pieces of paper; Faux Raku beads; and some beads that remind me a little bit of a peacock feather.

Oh, by the way, I am now capable of covering a pen with clay, baking it without burning, and getting the ink cartridge back inside!  What you see here are three objects that I covered with clay:  a stand to hold my pen, the pen itself, and my needle tool.



  1. Wow Linda, you have been working so hard! It is fun to see how many different pieces you have made and that you put them together into very wearable designs. I can see why you get compliments on your heart jewelry. They are quite striking! Great job!

    Thank you so much for the glowing words on the tutorials. It is always rewarding to have a student that absorbs the information and puts it to excellent use. Also than you for your wonderful support and involvement in our claying community. It is a great pleasure having you there!

  2. Hi Linda, every thing is just so georgeous, love all you beautiful work. You have come a long way and have really excelled with Cindys tutorial I love the way we can find each other easily from Cindys Site.
    Best wishes
    E. K.

  3. I love your heart jewelry. They are so pretty . I love the combination of the beads in the necklaces too.

    I think I'm going to be trying making that sanding toothbrush! I did see a tutorial somewhere but yours is way easier to follow. The sanding part is what gets me - I get really sore and cramped.