The project shows you how to create the classic Ikat patterns used in textiles. These earrings will be your new "go-to" earrings for sure!
Design by Gretchen Amberg
Note: This project shows the option of using two shapes from the Design it Template. The process is the same regardless of which size shape you choose.
Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Work ‘n Bake Clay 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® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (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.
Condition and roll out a large sheet each of Jungle, White, and Turquoise. Fold each sheet in half and use the Acrylic Roller to press the fold flat. This project begins as a 3- color “Skinner Blend”. If you are unfamiliar with a Skinner Blend reference the “How to Create a Skinner Blend” tutorial found on www.sculpey.com. Set-up the 3 colors with White in the middle and Jungle and Turquoise on the ends. After you have the colors assembled together place the sheet of clay so that all three colors are touching the rollers (on the widest setting) and, without folding the clay, roll it through the machine once.
Condition ¼ block of Black clay and adjust the Clay Conditioning Machine to the thinnest setting. Roll out a sheet of clay that is long and narrow. You’ll need the sheet of clay to be as long as the 3-color sheet you made in Step 2. Cut the sheet of Black into a series of narrow strips that have a slight taper to them. Place a few Black strips of clay onto the 3-color sheet of clay; make sure there is plenty of space between the strips of clay. Adjust the Clay Conditioning Machine back to the widest setting. Place the sheet of clay (including Black strips), without folding it, with all three colors against the rollers. Roll through the machine one time.
Fold the sheet in half so that the same color is touching on the edges, meaning that the Turquoise edge touches itself after folding. Place the folded edge against the rollers and roll through one time. Repeat the process of folding and rolling 5 more times. Note: While folding and rolling do your best to keep the sheet of clay to approximately 3” wide.
Place the sheet of clay onto your work surface and cut the sheet in half across the width. After you cut the sheet pick up the two halves and place them against each other with one end shifted about 3/16” past the other. The goal is to have the White portion of the pattern shift so the end piece looks less like stripes and with a slight zig-zag pattern running down the middle.
Repeat the process of cutting the stack in half and re-stacking 3 more times, making sure to keep the zig-zag pattern, until you have 8 layers. The 8 layers of clay should be enough to fit both the template sizes indicated at the beginning of the instructions. Before continuing it is a good idea to hold the template over the patterned end of the stack to double check that there is enough pattern to fit the template over. If the stack isn’t wide enough you may cut one more time and stack the halves
Cut two thin, about 1/16” thick, slices from the stack. If you are making both size pairs of earrings cut 4 slices. After you have cut the slices place the pieces side by side onto the work surface so they are mirror image.
Roll out a thin sheet of Black clay. Cut as many pieces of Black clay as you have slices of the Ikat patterned stack. Make sure you cut the Black pieces so they are larger than the Ikat slices. Place the Ikat slices on top of the Black sheets. Use the Acrylic Roller to gently roll the slices onto the sheets of Black clay. Place the template over the pattered piece of clay and position it so you are capturing the portion of the pattern you want to see on the finished earrings. Once you have the template in place use the craft knife to cut around the inside of the template. Repeat this process with the other patterned piece of clay.
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