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Sculpey Premo™ Swirling Rainbow Pendant

Sculpey Premo™ Swirling Rainbow Pendant

Designed by Lynn Yuhr
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Swirled lentil beads are a fun to make bead! I love to see the faces of people as the swirl develops and the bead is finished. Most of the time the patterns that are created are happy accidents, but what if we could control the outcome? This project uses an approach to swirled lentil beads that allows a level of control in the final look.  

Note: While making lentil beads is fun, it does take practice. Try it with some scrap clay first. You may need to pick up your bead and re-center it on your work surface as it moves around. You can easily start and stop the circular motion at any time.  Just remember to re-start going in the same circular direction as you started. 

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  • Small metal bowl
  • Cornstarch
  • Pin vise with a few drill bits from about 1mm to 2 mm diameter
  • 2 mm buna cord (about 24-inches long)
  • Several rubber O-rings (two 2mm and three 4mm)
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Project Instructions
    Getting Started:
Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Oven Safe Work Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.

Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.

Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Oven Safe Work Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. BAKING SHOULD BE DONE BY AN ADULT.
Using 1/4 block of clay (any color, it will be covered) condition and create a log about 1.5 inches long and 3/4-inch diameter. This will make a fairly large lentil bead. Use a smaller amount of clay if you want a smaller lentil bead.
Only a small amount of clay is needed of each color, about 1/4 to 1/2 block. Condition and sheet on the thickest setting. Cut strips approximately 1/8 to 1/4-inch wide and about 2-inches long. Arrange them on your work surface in order of a limited rainbow, then add alternating strips of white and white gold glitter. You want enough slices to cover the circumference of the log. Tip: it is better to have one or two extra strips.
Press slices together and trim just longer than the length of your log (Tip: save these scraps for later!).
Note: This method of creating a lentil gives you lots of control in the design and final outcome. The order of the colors and width of the strips can all be varied for different looks. A strip could even be a slice from a blend or even a patterned veneer. Think of the possibilities!
Roll the log down the center of the strips covering the entire circumference, trimming any excess strips. Smooth seams on all sides.
Starting at one end gently pushing the clay over the shoulder of the log towards the center working around the log until the end of the log is completely covered. Be patient, you want an even amount of color from all strips.
Place the lentil bead maker over the ball of clay where all the colors come together. Hold the lentil bead maker with two hands, keeping it parallel to your work surface. Gently move the bead maker in a circular motion with a slight downward pressure. The clay ball will begin to take on a bicone shape. Keep the circular motion in the same direction as you started until you begin to see the swirl of clay develop in the middle.
Once completed, use the needle tool to pierce the bead from side to side. Bake your bead nestled in a bowl filled with cornstarch. This will allow it to maintain its shape.
We need just a few accent beads to go on either side of the lentil bead. Use the clay you already have conditioned and sheeted. For each pair of beads, use the same about of clay so they end up being the same size. If you use a small cutter to cut out the amount of clay you need to make your beads they will match (it doesn’t matter what shape). Make an assortment of accent beads in different shapes such as round, disc, bicones, small little lentils, etc. Pierce these beads and bake them nestled in a bowl of cornstarch.
Select two or three of your accent beads for each side of the lentil. All beads, including the lentil may need to have the pierced holes enlarged using a pin vise and drill bit. Go slow, use a smaller drill bit and work your way up to the larger drill bit 2mm diameter.
Run the buna cord through your beads using a 2 mm O-ring as a spacer between each bead (these O-rings help hold the beads centered on the buna cord). I then use three 4mm O-rings to create a sliding friction connection at the back of the necklace. Thread one end of the buna into three of the 4mm O-rings. You will then thread the other end of the buna cord through the same O-rings but going in the opposite direction. This allows you to easily alter the length of the buna cord necklace. You can trim the buna cord once you determine the length you want your necklace to be. The final touch is adding a 2mm O-ring and tying simple overhand knots at the ends of each cord.
Remember the scrap clay from Step 3, it can be used to make another swirled lentil with a very different style. Chop up the scrap clay into little pieces with your tissue blade. If you need to add more clay, feel free to do so. When you get the clay all chopped up into roughly uniform little pieces, mix up the colors. Squeeze together to form a log (if you have a lot of clay). Cut a portion of the log and form into a ball. Repeat Step 5 and create a lentil bead. These will be a fun surprise as the colors mix and swirl together for a completely different look.
And since I already have color coordinating beads from Step 6, I strung it up on a piece of lavender leather cord for a simple choker necklace.