Getting Started: Polymer 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 275 °F (130 °C) for 15 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 several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Making the beadsFor beads, condition the White clay, then pinch off a piece of clay and roll it into a ball. Then poke a hole through the center of the bead. Repeat from the other side of the bead. Add texture. I used a piece of window screen.
For the focal bead, roll a ball of conditioned clay about the size of a golf ball. Flatten with fingers and press the clay between two pieces of Plexiglas that have been misted with water to your desired thickness. Use the heart clay cutter to cut out the pendant. Stamp desired design into heart. Poke a hole in the bead with a drinking straw.
For Vertebrae beads, roll a small ball of clay in your hands. Pinch half the clay between your thumb and forefinger. Turn the clay and repeat perpendicular to your first pinch. Carefully poke a hole through one pinched side closer to the middle.
For very thin wafer beads, make a clay log. Tap and flatten one end on the Plexiglas. Repeat on other end. Carefully poke through the log with the Etch-n-pearl skewer. Leave skewer inside clay log. Use the Sculpey Super Slicer straight blade to cut thin slices around the skewer. This method keeps your hole from closing when you make the slice.
Roll small round beads and egg shaped beads. Add a hole through each with the Etch-N-Pearl skewer.
For Disk Beads, roll clay into a ball and flatten between fingers. Poke a hole in the bead. Leave on the skewer and roll over textured surface. I used a textured dowel.
For the fox, roll a ball of clay the size of a quarter. Use your fingers to pinch and shape the ears on the top of the fox’s head. Use the skewer to draw and press the details of the fox into the bead. Poke a hole through the bead from top to bottom. Bake beads as directed above.
Finishing the beadsOnce the beads are baked and cool, use a brush to apply watered down Burnt Sienna paint to each bead. Wipe the bead off with a baby wipe, allowing paint to remain in crevices and texture. Repeat with all beads
Bake beads again in oven dedicated to clay for 20 minutes on the same temperature. Once the beads are cool, if desired, lightly sand beads with fine sanding block to add the look of wear.
Making a ClaspMake a necklace clasp with needle nose pliers and a piece of wire. Curl end around needle nose pliers to make a small loop. Turn over so loop is on top of the pliers and bend around to make a hook. Grasp end of wire with needle nose pliers and curl up into a loop. Harden wire by pounding it with a hammer several times on each side. Make heart loop for clasp by cutting a piece of rebar wire about 3 inches long. Bend in the middle and pull the ends so they make a loop at the bottom. Use pliers to bend tops of the heart. Harden wire.
To Make the Necklace - Cut 2 pieces of waxed linen cord about 3 feet long. Fold one of them in half. Pass the ends through the hole in the heart pendant and then make a slip knot through the looped end and pull tight against the heart.
To add beads, put two ends of the waxed linen through the hole in a bead center. Add 5 more small round beads. Tie in an overhand knot on the other side of the last bead.
Add flat wafer beads and repeat knotting process.
Alternate large round textured beads between vertebrae beads. Add 7 of each. Add another round bead and knot.
At the end of the first side, tie either the hook or the clasp with several overhand knots. Trim excess cord.
For other side of the necklace, fold the other piece of waxed linen cord in half. Pass the ends through the hole in the heart pendant and then make a slip knot through the looped end and pull tight against the heart.
To add beads, put two ends of the waxed linen through the hole in a bead center. Add 4 more small egg-shaped beads. Tie in an overhand knot on the other side of the last bead.
To add disk beads, pass one end of the waxed linen through the disk on one direction and the other end of the cord through the other direction and knot on the other side of the bead. Repeat with other 6 beads. Add other end of the hook or loop and tie onto the cord with several overhand knots. Trim excess cord with scissors.
Designer Tips* When I make beads, I always make more than just what I need for one project. To make this necklace, I used 4 blocks of clay but had some beads left over.*Baby wipes are great for cleaning your hands and tools.*This project only uses white clay, but if you are using different colors, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly between colors.* I did not seal these beads because I wanted them to have an organic porous look of true bone. You could if you desire.*You cannot make mistakes on this project due to its primitive nature. Enjoy yourself and explore.