Getting Started Do not use unbaked clay on unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. 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 30 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 dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
To make the pearlescent orange color you will need to mix 9-parts 18k Gold with 1-part Cadmium Red Hue. Since this project doesn’t use too much clay you can choose to use a small cutter to cut out your portions of each color, or if you like the color, you can mix a larger amount and have some left over for later use. Condition the two colors together until you have a solid color. Set your Clay Conditioning Machine to the thickest setting and roll out a strip at least 2.5” wide by 5” long.
Insert the Greek Keys patterned wheel into the handle. Roll the wheel up the center of the strip of clay. Make sure you apply steady and even pressure while rolling. You want to have a nice even depth impression. Once you have the texture rolled out pick up the Needle Tool. Position the edge of the Needle Tool about 1/8” away from the right outside line of the Greek Keys pattern. Drag the Needle Tool down the length of clay so you have a long line down the right side of the Greek Keys pattern. Repeat this process on the left side of the Greek Keys pattern. Next pick up the 1.5” long tear drop from the set of cutters, center it over the textured section of the strip of clay so the pattern is running up the middle of the length of the cutter and cut out one tear drop. Realign the cutter over the patterned strip and cut out a second tear drop.
Place the two tear drops you cut out in the previous step onto the surface you intend on baking them on. Squeeze some Silver TLS over the areas that have the pattern, if the Silver TLS ends up on other parts of the surface don’t worry about it. Let the Silver TLS sit on the surface for a couple of minutes. Note: Since the TLS is a thick liquid letting it sit on the surface of the clay for a couple of minutes gives it time to settle into the pattern. Once the Silver TLS has had a chance to settle into the pattern use the baby wipe to gently wipe the excess Silver TLS from the surface of the tear drops. Once the surface is wiped as clean as you can get it bake the tear drops as directed above and let cool completely.
Once the tear drop pieces have cooled completely you’ll want to do a little refining work on the surface. Remove the sheet of 1000 grit sandpaper from the Wet/Dry Sandpaper Pack and soak it in some water so the backing becomes soft. Hold the sandpaper and your tear drop under cool running water and gently sand the patterned surface of the tear drop. Use small circular motions and apply very light pressure. You don’t need to sand much, just a little bit. Giving the surface a light sanding will help remove any small traces of the Silver TLS left on the surface from the previous step. Note: It might not have seemed like there was anything left on the surface before you baked, but when you compare the first piece you sanded to the second un-sanded piece you’ll be able to see the difference, the pattern becomes a lot crisper. Sand the second tear drop, rinse both pieces thoroughly, and pat them dry.
Condition equal parts Silver and Pearl together and roll out a small piece on the thickest setting of the Clay Conditioning Machine. Cut out two 3/8” circles and gently press a 5 mm Crystal colored Hot Fix Crystal into the center of each circle.
Pick up one of the tear drops and put a small dot of Bake N’ Bond on center of the bottom edge of the tear drop. Very carefully position one of the circles of clay with the crystal so it is touching the bottom edge of the tear drop with the Bake N’ Bond in between both pieces. Repeat this process with the other tear drop and the circle with the crystal. Bake these assemblies as directed above and let cool completely. Note: Having these pieces held together with some Bake N’ Bond now will be helpful in the next step.
Once the tear drop and circle assemblies have cooled turn them over so you are looking at the backs. Cut two 2.5” long pieces of silver wire. Use the small round nose pliers to form a small loop onto one end of each piece of wire. Place the wire onto the back of the tear drop piece so that the loop is sticking up just a little bit from the pointed tip of the tear drop. The other end of the wire will need to be given a little curl and that curl needs to line up on the circle at the bottom of the tear drop. Gently hold the wire against the back of the piece so you can use the marker to indicate where the curl should be made. Lift the piece of wire, bend the curl, and trim away the excess wire. Repeat this process with the other length of wire.
Change the setting of the Clay Conditioning Machine to the next to thinnest. Roll out a small piece each of the Silver/Pearl and 18k Gold/Cadmium Red Hue mixes. Cut the 18k Gold/Cadmium Red Hue piece into 2 strips about 1/4” wide by 1” long. Cut two 3/16” circles out of the Silver/Pearl mix. Run a small line of Bake N’ Bond down the middle of the back of each tear drop assembly and position the wire pieces into place so the small loop is just above the pointed tip of the tear drop and the curled end rests on the circle at the bottom. Place the 3/16” circles over the curled parts of the wires and gently press them down so the wire it captured between the two layers of clay. Place the narrow strips over the length of wire that runs up the middle back of the tear drop portion of the piece and gently press into place so the wire is captured between the two layers of clay. Bake as directed above and let cool completely.
Once the pieces have cooled completely attach the ear wires and you’re finished.