This the second part of a six-part series of tutorials based on mass producing earrings that are all unique in design. This series features Terrazzo, Floral, Pebble, Gold Leaf, Texture, and Scrap all in the same color-way for a myriad of combinations. A great way to create lots of mix and match pieces that can be combined into unique styles. If you are just starting out to sell jewelry, this instruction teaches mass production techniques while building your business. The entire line of earrings that I have created with these pieces - over 40 pairs of earrings - came from just 6 - 2ounce bars of clay.
The Tools and Supply Lists here may be overkill for just this one section of the tutorial. I’m including everything in each section for the total project so that you can keep the overall outcome in focus.
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.
Previously we made a Pebble Slab sheet and now we can turn half of that sheet into a Pebble Slab with Florals. It’s a great way to get two different looks that complement each other. br>Start with the Pebble Slab in front of you on your work area. Make little curved lines in the clay by using the tip of the Needle Tool. You can criss-cross some of them for more design details.
Add tiny oval shaped leaves to some of the tiny lines for fern like fronds. Score a tiny line in each leaf with the Needle Tool. Cover at least half of the sheet with the fern designs.
Add little balls of Raw Sienna randomly on the sheet in sets of threes. Poke a little hole in the center of each ball with the Blunt Point Tool.
Add little balls of Alizarin Crimson all over the clay sheet. Flatten the little balls with the flat end of the Needle Tool.
In this photo you can see how many shapes I cut from the corner of the slab of Florals. I used the second largest teardrop cutter to cut out several pieces. Then I used the small squares to cut out a couple of extra button shapes so that clay wouldn’t go to waste.
Move the cut shapes from the work area onto pieces of plastic wrap placed on top of something stiff. The plastic wrap will keep the clay from leaching its valuable plasticizer away. The stiff object, like an extra baking tray or a piece of cardboard, will make it easy to pick up and move the shapes around as needed.
The pieces on the right side of the photo are scraps from the cut outs. Even the scraps will be used later!
Keeping scraps organized along the way will make them easier to use later. Store patterned scraps together on pieces of plastic wrap placed on top of something stiff. The plastic wrap will keep the clay from leaching its valuable plasticizer away. The stiff object, like an extra baking tray or a piece of cardboard, will make it easy to pick up and move the scrap clay around to bring it into or away from the project at hand.
Following the tutorials in this set for Pebble, Floral, Terrazzo, Gold Leaf, Texture, and Scrap, make lots of mix and match pieces from each pattern. Then combine the pieces to make earring layouts as you like.
Here’s a view of the layout for several pairs of earrings. Lots of unique styles can be created by mixing and matching the different patterns. Once you like the look of the designs, you can mark where holes will need to be drilled with the Needle Tool. Be sure to mark holes for ear wires if you want the earrings to dangle. Leave top pieces unmarked for holes if you want them to be post style earrings.
Bake the pieces following the baking instructions for Sculpey Premo™. Allow pieces to cool completely before handling.
After baking, the holes can be drilled with a Dremel drill or Dremel Stylo for speedy production drilling. When using an electric drill, use a bit that is larger than the jump rings. This way the pieces will be allowed to move freely when assembled.
After drilling, drop pairs of earrings into empty egg cartons to keep all the parts of a pair of earrings together and sorted.
Here’s a look at how some of the Floral elements were used in finished earrings.
Here’s a look at just one of the pairs of earrings that feature the pieces cut from the Floral Slab. I used the second largest teardrop cutters and combined the Floral with Gold Leaf elements at the top. They are assembled with jump rings between elements and finished with ear wires using flat nose pliers.
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