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 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 Conditioning Machine for several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Condition the White Translucent clay while mixing in the glitter. Add small amounts of glitter at a time until you have a nice sparkling blend. Once you have your holographic glitter blend roll out a sheet on the #1 setting on your Clay Conditioning Machine. Cut out two 1-1/2” circles. Place the circles of clay onto the Hollow Bead Maker and gently press them onto the form so they are making good contact all of the way around. Bake directly onto the form for 15 minutes and let cool completely.
Once the pieces have cooled remove them from the Hollow Bead Maker. Wet your piece of sandpaper and using gentle and even pressure sand the open side of the dome so that you have a little bit of a flat edge. Rinse the piece off, dry it, and set it to the side. Repeat with the second piece.
Pick up one of the pieces and squeeze a thin line of Bake N’ Bond all of the ways around the flat edge. Pick up the other piece and press the two halves together so that the open sides are facing each other. Don’t worry about any small amounts of Bake N’ Bond that might have squeezed out of the seam. Place the piece onto some batting, bake for 30 minutes, and let cool completely.
Once the piece has cooled rub a thin layer of Bake N’ Bond into the groove that runs around the outside edge of the piece. Roll a snake of glitter blend clay that is a little larger in diameter than the depth of the groove and long enough to go all of the way around the bead. Press one end of the snake into the groove and continue winding the snake around while firmly pressing it into the groove. Continue doing this until you have the groove completely filled in all of the ways around.
Use your Super Slicer to trim away the excess clay. To do this start from one side and hold the blade at an angle against the outside edge of the bead and run it around the edge. Repeat this on the other side. Next, hold the blade so it is flat against the top of the groove and run it around the outside of the bead; think of this like peeling an apple. You might need to repeat these steps to make sure you have the excess snake trimmed away cleanly. Use your finger to smooth the edge of the bead. Place on the batting, bake for 30 minutes, and let cool completely.
Once the bead has cooled use a fine tip marker to mark two places around the outside edge so that are about 1/3 of the way around the outside from each other. Use the 1/8” drill bit to drill a hole through the edge of the bead until you have drilled through to the hollow inside of the bead. Repeat this on the other marked spot.
Applying the alcohol inks will be easier the less you have to handle the bead. To make it easier you can hang the bead on a piece of wire so you can suspend the bead while adding the inks. Take your piece of 18 gage wire and bend a 45 degree hook on one end. Insert the wire hook into one of the holes on the bead. Set this to the side so you can start prepping for adding the inks.
To prepare for adding the alcohol inks do the following: pour a little rubbing alcohol into 3 wells on your paint tray, lay out 3 cotton swabs, and open the three bottles of alcohol inks. Starting with the Eggplant ink dip the end of one of the cotton swabs into a well filled with rubbing alcohol and then drip some Eggplant ink on the swab. Pick up the wire holding the bead and dab the Eggplant ink on the surface so it covers at least 1/3 of the surface. Repeat this process with the Meadow colored ink and then add the Denim ink last. The great thing about alcohol inks is that they blend and can be layered. If you think you need to add any more of the colors to balance out the patterning you can do so by adding a little more rubbing alcohol and ink to the swab you used earlier for that color. Once you are happy with the ink application let the ink dry to touch. As soon as the ink has dried on the bead place it onto some batting, bake for 15 minutes, and let cool completely.
Once the bead has cooled hook it back onto the wire and paint on a thin coating of Glossy Glaze taking care to avoid the holes. When they glaze is dry string the bead onto the rubber cord and finish the cord ends.