I had the Etch n’ Pearl tools in my toolkit for the longest time before I actually realized their full potential. I thought that they were cool pokey things with funny ends on them (sounds familiar right?). Then I had the chance to see my fellow Sculpey teammates, Amy Koranek and Patti Kimle, use the “funny end” and my clay world was rocked. As I traveled to different guilds and mentioned Etch n’ Pearls I would always get questions “What?” When I showed them everyone would go, “ohhhh, these things! I never knew what to do with them!”
Etch n’ Pearls aren’t hard to use, but there are tricks..
Sculpey Pearl Product Ideas
Trick #1 Use the widest setting on your Clay Conditioning Machine to make a nice fat pearl.
Trick #2 Make your pearls on a smooth ceramic tile so that the pearls will stick to the tile and not in the tool. Then just peel up the remaining sheet of clay to expose your pearls.
Trick #3 Dip the Etch n’ Pearl in water every couple of pearls – again so that they stick to the tile and not the tool. A small bottle cap works great.
Trick #4 An empty clay wrapper with a little Sculpey Bake n’ Bond in it, a toothpick and you can securely attach your pearls.
Trick #6 Try using other tools to create a texture. For instance the rubber chisel end of the medium ball tool in the Sculpey Essential Tool Kit or the Style and Details kit makes a great philips head screw look. These are great for covering seams in clay like on these faux leather bracelets.
Trick #7 The pokey end of the tool makes a great scrap cleaner around the edge of the pearl.
Trick #10 Use thinner layers of clay to create polka dots that can be used alone or layered. I prefer to make the thinner layers on paper so that the clay sticks in the tool until I lightly press it into place. If the clay sticks to the paper, put the tool back over it and swipe the tool towards you to scoop up the polka dot.
The sheet of clay with the polka dots can be run through the clay conditioning machine to make ovals too! Here are some great examples of how you can use the Etch n’ Pearl tool in my recent creative map:
Some other great links to Sculpey projects using Etch n’ Pearls include Amy Koranek’s bracelet where she used the pearls to hold the hardware:
So get those Etch n’ Pearls out and show us what YOU do with them!