This the third 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.
• Teardrop Clay Cutters by Craft Smart® • Square & Circle Premium Clay Cutters by Craft Smart® • Edgy Texture Sheet Set by Craft Smart® • Interfolded clear plastic deli and bakery wrap - or - plastic kitchen wrap • Stiff cardboard or extra baking trays for scrap organization • Gold composite leaf • Dremel or Dremel Stylo • Egg cartons for sorting pairs • 6 mm Gold tone jump rings • 8 mm Gold tone jump rings • Gold tone ear wires • Gold tone ear posts and backs • Gold tone connectors in various shapes • Silicone glue or instant drying glue • Flat nose pliers
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.
For the background color, mix one half bar of White with 1/2 bar of Gray Granite. Sheet through the pasta machine to the second thickest setting. Cut out a nice square shape and set the scraps aside for later use.
Keeping scraps organized along the way will make them easier to use later. Store solid color 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.
Sheet 1/8 bar Raw Sienna through the pasta machine on the fourth thickest setting. Use the Clay Blade to cut out triangles and press them flatly to the background color. Roll with the Acrylic Clay Roller to flatten the triangles into the sheet.
Make little balls of Spanish Olive. Pinch them between your fingers to flatten them and then press them to the sheet randomly. Roll with the Acrylic Clay Roller to flatten the circles into the sheet.
Shave really thin pieces from the bar of Beige and press them to the sheet randomly. Roll with the Acrylic Clay Roller to flatten them into the sheet.
Press really flat circles of White to the Spanish Olive areas. Add tiny shavings of Gray Granite in triangular shapes. Add balls of Alizarin Crimson and flatten them with the flat end of the Needle Tool. Make random X’s in the background with the tip of the Needle Tool.
Poke a hole in the center of each Crimson dot with the Blunt Point Tool.
Cut the sheet of Terrazzo using the 2nd largest teardrop cutter, the large circle and the large square. In the scrap spaces, you can cut out more little shapes as shown. Focus this pattern on larger shaped cuts so that the Terrazzo is easily highlighted in the finished earring designs.
To make even more usable shapes, cut little squares out of the large squares. Cutting the small squares off center allows you to use the hole that the removed square creates as part of the finished design because you can insert a large jump ring into this hole.
Cut squares in half for triangles.
Cut small circles out of the large circles. Cut circles in half for half rounds. Use the large circle cutter to cut the circles into crescents. The little circles and little squares as well as the marquis shape that comes out of the crescent are nice additions to your shapes collection.
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 it’s 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.
Save the scraps for later. We will use these in the “Unique Multiples Scrap Earrings” tutorial.
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.
Assemble earrings with jump rings using flat nose pliers to open and close the jump rings and ear wires. Glue ear posts to the backs of pairs which are chosen for post designs.
Here is just one pair highlighting the Terrazzo slab that we made in this tutorial. The top buttons and the large crescents dangle with a half round of Scrap pattern in the center. Jump rings were used to hook all the pieces together. The top buttons will have ear posts glued to the button backs for wearing.
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