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Liquid Sculpey Cameo Necklace for a Renaissance Duchess

The Italian Renaissance saw the return of the art of cameo cutting. At that time, jewelry was also considered portable wealth. Cameos became the rage and were often combined with gemstones and enamels in elaborate neckpieces. This necklace combines a tinted translucent Premo "cameo" with pieces whose open areas are filled with tinted clear liquid Sculpey to create the illusion of glass or plique- a -jour enamel.   Design by Mari O'Dell CLAYS USED: premo!  Sculpey Accents White Translucent - 2 oz premo! Sculpey Accents Silver - 2 oz premo! Sculpey Accents Gold - 1 oz (or half a 2oz package)
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Yellow and Orange alcohol inks (since I am trying to get the look of a shell cameo), brush to apply alcohol inks to polymer, small paper cups, wooden stir stick, waxed Deli paper, ColorBox Crafters ink in Frost White (cats eye pad), leather design stamp to texture bead caps, pin tool or thin metal knitting needles, Xacto knife,ceramic tile, 20 gauge"silver" wire, jump rings, a clasp, basic wire working tools a deep mold to create your "cameo"

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Getting StartedPolymer clay may stain. CLAY MAY DAMAGE UNPROTECTED FURNITURE OR FINISHED SURFACES. DO NOT USE polymer clay on unprotected surfaces. We recommend working on the Sculpey clay mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Start with clean hands and work surface area. 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 300°F (130 °C) for 20 minutes per ¼" (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 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.
Condition the Translucent Premo and sheet on a #3 setting on your clay conditioning machine.Set on a piece of deli paper.Apply yellow and orange alcohol inks to the surface of the translucent and spread evenly with a brush.Allow inks to completely dry on the surface.Fold clay, with painted sides together, and pass through the machine until color is completely mixed into the translucent.
Roll a piece of this clay (just enough to fill your cameo mold) into a smooth ball and press into your mold. Release clay from mold and trim shape using one of your oval cutters. Using the Color Box Crafters ink touch the pad to the high areas of the design to simulate the look of a shell cameo. Place on a curing tile.
Roll a piece of this clay (just enough to fill your cameo mold) into a smooth ball and press into your mold. Release clay from mold and trim shape using one of your oval cutters. Using the Color Box Crafters ink touch the pad to the high areas of the design to simulate the look of a shell cameo. Place on a curing tile.
Prepare the "silver" clay by mixing and conditioning the silver and gold Premo. Sheet on the #3 setting of your machine and place on a piece of deli paper. Take a small amount of this clay and sheet on a # 4 setting. Using a small round cutter , cut two bead caps for each bead you have made. Stamp a texture with the leather stamp onto each bead cap. pierce a center hole in each cap.
Place one bead at a time onto a metal needle tool and apply the bead caps. Gently press in place , making sure the holes line up. Set aside , and continue until all the beads are "caped". Cure using a bead rack in the preheated 275 oven for 40 minutes.
With your #3 sheet of "silver" on deli paper place your cured cameo onto the silver clay. Allow room to create the open loops for the liquid clay "enamel". Using some of the extra silver clay, roll or extrude some logs about 1/8" in diameter. Use these to create loops around your cameo focal. Gently press these in place. Use your Xacto knife to cut away the backing clay inside these loops.
Gently lift your focal piece from the deli paper and use your knife to remove most of the backing clay from behind the cameo piece leaving a ledge for it to sit on.Place on a curing tile . Make sure there is good contact of the backing clay and loop areas so that no liquid clay will escape in the next step
Pour some of the Clear liquid Sculpey into a small paper cup. Add alcohol ink and mix gently until you achieve a color you desire. (it will darken somewhat in the curing)I like to pour this into a small plastic bottle with a spout or pouring tip to make filling small spaces easier. Fill the open "loop" areas with the liquid clay. Pre heat your ocen to 300 degrees F and cure your piece for 30-40 minutes.Allow to cool.
Create the other Plique-a-jour elements by cutting two oval shapes for each element out of a #3 sheet of the silver clay. Using 20 gauge wire make a double eye pin for each element. Place the eye pin on one oval cutout and place the other cutout on top press together and smooth. Use a smaller oval cutter to mark a center oval. Remove the top oval and use your Xacto knife to cut away the bottom oval , leaving just the metal of the eye pin.
Using the Etch n' Pearl to lift small dots from the remaining #3 sheet of silver clay. Apply these to the outside of the ovals. Gently press into place. Make sure that the shapes make good contact with the curing tile so that the liquid clay does not run. Fill the open areas of the elements with the tinted Clear liquid clay. Cure in a 300 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
The capped beads may be made into elements using the wire to create wrapped loops.Assemble the necklace using jump rings to connect the various elements.