syndee holt loves the steampunk look and has created a quick, simple way of making weathered metal-look gears using metallic Sculpey clays. Her addition of bronze, gold and green beads of all shapes and sizes to the necklace is a perfect addition.
Preheat oven to 275 °F. Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. Condition all clay by kneading until it’s soft and smooth (Condition the white first, so that your hands are clean. Clean hands with baby wipes between colors) or running it through the Clay Conditioning Machine for several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first. All baking should be done by an adult.
Roll out half of the Gold clay on the widest setting of the Clay Conditioning Machine. Place the sheet of clay on the index card (or sheet of paper). Put the sheet of paper on a hard surface floor. Lightly spray water onto the texture stamp (water acts as a mold release) and place the stamp on top of the clay sheet and step on it. Step on it from all four sides of the stamp. Remove the stamp and pick up the sheet of paper. Peel the clay from the paper and you should have a perfectly embossed sheet of clay! I've found this unorthodox method to work the best for an deep, even embossed sheet of clay.
Repeat for the other half of the clay.
Select the largest cutter and cut out a circle of clay from the texture sheet of clay. Use one of the star points to cut out the gears in the outside edge of the clay circle.
Use one of the smaller circles or square cutters to cut out the center of the gear.
Repeat with your smaller cutters to make an assortment of gear sizes.
Highlight the textures on your gears by rubbing the Pearl Ex powders across random areas of the gear.
Drill a hole in the top and bottom sections of one of the larger gears if you wish to suspend one above the main pendant as I did.
Bake according to your clay package directions and allow to cool.
The black craft paint will really bring out the textures of the clay and the Pearl Ex colors. Brush each gear with black paint and quickly wipe the top surface with a damp paper towel to remove the paint from the top surfaces of the texture. Allow the gears to dry.
Assemble the gears in an overlapping pattern and glue into place. NOTE: Support the upper gears while drying with unused gears to keep them in place until they dry.
While the gears are drying, make 4-5 large jump rings from the Gun Metal 16 gauge wire by wrapping the wire 7 times around a mandrel, piece of copper tubing or wooden dowel that is about 3/8 inch in diameter. Cut 4-5 jump rings from the coiled wire and set aside.
Open one of the jump rings and slip it around the top right gear. Add a link of chain and close the ring. Repeat on the left side. Slide jump rings into the holes on the large gear and attach the bottom jump ring to the left side jump ring. Attach the upper jump ring to the chain link. Measure the chain to the desired length and add your clasp.
Cut a 12 inch piece of the 26 gauge Gold Wire and thread it through one of the gears. Twist the wire a couple of times against the back of the clay pendant and use your channel pliers to flatten the twist. Randomly weave this wire back and forth through the gears, adding beads. Twist another piece of wire, if needed, to the end and continue weaving until you feel like the design is complete. Push the wire to the back and wrap around the closest wire in the back several times. Trim the wire and compress the wrap with the channel pliers.
Save the Styrofoam trays that food comes in for bead trays. This way you can put all the assorted beads into the tray and mix them up. It also makes it easier to thread the beads onto the wire.
Kemper cutters: Round - ¾ and 3/8; Square – 3/8; Star – 7/16 and ½ or sizes that work for your gear sizes
Wilton round cutter set – using the small 1-1/2 inch diameter cutter
Judikins 2207 large texture stamp (or texture stamp of your choice), small spray bottle of water
Jacquard Pearl Ex powders – trace amounts of Spring Green, Super Copper and Brilliant Gold
Black craft paint and 1 inch foam brush
Crafter's Pick “Ultimate” glue
Artistic wire – 28 gauge Gold – about 4 feet 16 gauge Gun Metal – about 12 inches
Metal Madness antique gold chain – about 12 inches
Jewelry Essentials Gold Rose clasp
Jewelry Essentials – green/bronze bead assortment or beads of your choice
Several large index cards or plain sheets of paper
Jewelers tools - pliers, wire cutters