A unique bead that can be finished horizontally as a choker or vertically as an opera length chain.
Designer's Note: The technique that was used to create the faux carved look in the background of this lovely mirror is called the Mica Lift. It was first introduced by Christi Friesen.
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® Clay 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.
Shape equal amounts of each color (except Navy) into small logs. Stack them together as shown.
Roll and twist the log until it is about 8" long.
Fold the twisted log in half and then in half again.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 at least two more times. Roll and twist the log but keep it short and fat. Keep twisting until the log has lots of micro stripes. Keep the log fat by pressing inward on each end.
Cut the log in half lengthwise. Set one half aside for use in another project.
Press the half log through the clay conditioning machine on the thickest setting, then on the 2nd thickest, then on the 3rd thickest to make a thin striped sheet. Cut away thin strips from the edges and set aside for finishing.
When texturing polymer clay it is always best to use water as a release. After your clay is sheeted to the desired thickness, spritz water over the top of the clay. Lay the texture on the clay texture side down. Press hard with your fingers to make the texture sheet bite into the clay. Once it has a good bite, you can roller over the texture sheet with a roller to achieve a deep texture. Deep textures are much more attractive than shallow ones as they catch more shadows. Carefully remove the texture sheet from the clay. Immediately blot away any excess water from the clay and your work surface with a paper towel. Water is not an ingredient in polymer clay and so you do not want to mix it into the clay.
Texture the striped sheet with the Fishnet texture sheet.
Spread a fine layer of mica powder all over the textured sheet with a paint brush. It is most important that the powder gets into all the crevices.
Place a piece of transparent tape over the powdered surface. Burnish it down with your finger. Gently remove the tape taking some of the mica powder from the raised surfaces with it. Continue lifting the mica powder from the raised surfaces with the tape until the powder only remains in the crevices.
Shape a log for the bead core from scrap clays (Approximately 1/2" - 5/8" W X 2" thick). Roll the bead core up in the striped clay and trim all edges. Set aside for now.
Shape a small log of Blue Glitter clay. Roll tiny thin ropes of Navy clay. Place the ropes horizontally along the Blue Glitter log. Roll the log to smooth. Keep rolling the log until it is just a little smaller in diameter than the barrel bead. Cut off two 1/2" thick slices from the striped log. Dome the slices with your fingers. Press one dome on each end of the barrel bead.
Use the striped scraps set aside in the first step to make trim pieces for your bead. Place one thin piece over the seam in the striped background and trim the ends. Wrap two around the barrel bead at one third intervals. Twist the remaining scraps into a tiny rope and place it at the seam between the barrel bead and the end caps. Use the small Etch n Pearl tool to make tiny Navy pearls at the intersection of each trim piece. Gently poke a hole from end to end with the needle tool.
Bake according to the directions above. Allow to cool completely.
Cut off a piece of wire 6" long using wire cutters. On one end use the round nose pliers to form a spiral.Insert the long end of the wire through the bead so the spiral is snug up against the bead. Use the round nose pliers to form another spiral on the other end of the bead. Trim as needed.
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