This magnificent necklace, inspired by Judy Dunn’s wonderful “Shibori-Style Beads”, will wow any outfit.
Do not use unbaked clay on unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275 °F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per 1/4” (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult.
Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Creating Custom Colors - To get a warm Purple mix 1/4 block of Purple with 1/2 block of Fuchsia. Using all colors straight from the package or custom mixing your own colors is also an option.
The finished stack will have colors in the following order: Black, White, Fuchsia, the mixed warm Purple and White again. This order will be repeated four times. Roll out each color on the widest setting to get sheets about 2 inches wide by 9 inches long (cut the white sheet one in half).
Start stacking by building pairs of color. First stack one white sheet to the Black and put it through the PM at the widest setting again. Do the same with Fuchsia and warm Purple. Take the Black and White sheet and put the Fuchsia and Purple sheet on top. Roll all four colors through the widest setting again.
Now take the second white sheet and roll it through the PM down to No. 5 or 6. Put it on top of the warm purple. Be careful not to trap air between the sheets. Use your acrylic roller to compress them. Divide the stack into about 4 equal pieces and stack them by keeping the same order of colors. Compress the new stack of clay sheets again by using your hands or an acrylic roller.
Cut the block crosswise into half. Trim all edges clean. Set one block aside for later use.
Take your ceramic tile and adhere one block of clay to its surface by using the acrylic roller. To prevent the clay from sticking, spray your Pegboard with water. Take the Pegboard and press it into the top of the stack. To get more and even pressure, you might stand up. Control the depth of impression by inspecting the sides of the stack.
With the rigid blade slice thin pieces from the block at an angle nearly parallel to the table. Put slices aside and keep on slicing until there are no more impressions. Repeat pressing the Pegboard into the stack and cutting further slices.
Repeat steps 5 to 6 with the second block.
Condition the silver or scrap clay and roll it into a log approximately 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut one inch pieces from this log for the beads. Choose one of the slices you‘ve cut before (each slice should be enough to create two beads). Wrap the log piece with a slice, measuring about 1 by 2 inches. Close the seam by rolling it gently with the knitting needle, back and forth.
Carefully pinch both ends of the cylinder to get some nice long tips. Put the nearly finished ellipsoid between your hands, held to an small angle, and roll the bead gently back and forth to refine its shape. You can leave the pattern straight or give the tips a little twist.
Bake as directed above. To give them a slight shine, you can polish the beads with Renaissance Wax. Drill a whole according to your desired cord or stringing method.