SUPPLIES & TOOLS:
- Sculpey® III Turquoise, Emerald, Yellow, White
- Sculpey® Clay Conditioning Machine
- Sculpey® Clay Tool Variety Set
- Rubber glove/clean gardening glove/Band-Aids,
- Paint brush (a fluffy, “mop" style is best)
- Black acrylic paint
- Paper towels
- 15 bead caps (2 types if desired)
- Approx. 30 glass & plastic beads—a “bead soup" variety of beads in oceanic colors (blue, green & light golden) with differing shapes, textures & sizes spanning around 6mm-11mm. Two of the beads should have larger holes for the finishing cord—reserve them for the last steps.
- Approx. 20 glass pearls in a few sizes, including several 3mm or similar small size.
- 6' waxed leather cord
- Toggle & bar style clasp
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 for 15 minutes per 1/4" 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.
Color mixing guide:Sea Foam
1/8 package emerald
3/4 package white
1/2 package turquoise
1/8 package yellow
1/4 package white
Making the beads
1. Mix Sea Foam and Aqua colors according to color mixing guide.
2. Using the Sea Foam clay, form 4 round beads (slightly smaller than 1/2").
3. Using the Aqua clay, form 3 round beads (slightly smaller than 1/2").
4. Using the needle tool from the Clay Tool Starter Set, create a hole in the center of each bead. Make sure to make the hole has a large enough diameter to accommodate cording.
5. Bake beads at 275°F for 15 minutes per 1/4" thickness. Allow beads to cool completely.
Adding detail to clay beads
1. Protect non-dominant hand from the sharp blade with a glove or by placing adhesive bandages on thumb and index and middle fingers, or the areas that will be holding the beads.
2. Hold one bead snugly between protected thumb, index, and middle fingers of non-dominant hand.
3. Using the rigid blade from the Super Slicer Set, make small, random slices on the surface of the bead. Each slice should remove a very thin, superficial portion of the surface. Don’t worry about making the slices evenly sized or in any sort of pattern, but do be sure to make the slices over the entire surface area of the bead.
4. Continue the slicing process with all 7 beads.
Painting the beads
1. Place a small amount of Black acrylic paint onto a paintbrush. Brush it onto a paper towel to remove as much paint as possible—the embellishment of the facets requires an extremely dry brush technique. The brush will be ready to paint the bead facets when it seems no paint is left on the brush.
2. Hold one of the beads and go over the entire surface with the brush using a light, quick dusting motion. This will bring out the lines of the facets.
3. Continue painting the rest of the beads in this same way, freshening the brush with paint and brushing it onto the paper towel as needed.
4. Let the beads dry completely before using or handling excessively. If there is too much paint, those areas can be re-sliced when the paint is dry and gone over again with the dry brush.
Assembling the first strand of the bracelet
1. Cut six feet of cording. Thread the cord through the loop of the bar component of the clasp. At the cord’s halfway point, tie the cord with two half knots onto the bar’s loop. This will provide two stringing cords of the same length.
2. To form the first strand, begin by stringing the smallest glass pearl and one of the smaller bead soup beads. Tie an overhand knot, pushing it snugly against the last strung bead.
3. String a bead cap, a Seafoam Rustic Faceted bead, another bead cap. Tie an overhand knot against the bead cap.
4. String one of the bead soup beads. Tie an overhand knot against the bead.
5. String a bead cap, an Aqua Rustic Faceted bead, bead cap. Tie an overhand knot.
6. Continue with this stringing and knotting pattern until all 7 of the Rustic Faceted beads, (in alternating colors) bead caps, and interspaced bead soup beads are strung. Finish this first strand with an overhand knot snugly against the last bead.
Assembling the second strand of the bracelet
1. Begin stringing the second strand with the smallest glass pearl, two small bead soup beads, and another small glass pearl. Tie an overhand knot.
2. Continue with this same beading pattern: glass pearl/two bead soup beads/glass pearl/knot, until the beaded cord closes near the end of the first strand. If desired, start with smaller beads and gradually increase the sizes of the beads as you create the strand to give a nicely tapered effect. The second strand should be a little bit shorter in measurement so the strands lay correctly on the wrist.
3. Finish the second strand with an overhand knot against the last bead.
Putting the two strands together to form the bracelet
1. String the cord from the first strand through one side of the loop on the toggle component of the clasp. String the cord from the second strand through the opposite side of the loop on the toggle.
2. Pull both cords so each end knot is as close as possible to the toggle loop and tie the cords together over the toggle loop tightly in a half knot. Tie two more half knots or to ensure a secure closure at the clasp.
3. String the two larger-holed bead soup beads onto both cords. String a bead cap onto both cords under the beads. Tie the cords together with two very tight half knots, then finish with a tight overhand knot using both cords together as one. Cut the remaining cords, leaving about 3/4" and pull the fibers apart a bit for a rustic, frayed style.
Notes and tips:
A “half knot" is a simple knot used with two ends of cord—it is the same tying method used to start a shoelace knot, and sometimes referred to as a “starting knot."
Any type of cording can be used, although waxed leather is very easy for stringing polymer clay beads. Finer hemp and waxed linen are also good choices for this project, as simple knotting makes an easy way to finish the connections. Just make sure to make the bead holes an appropriate diameter or have a bead reamer on hand.
Because of the various sizes of the bead soup mix of beads, it’s a good idea to hold the bracelet up to wrist while working, to continue checking for appropriate sizing. For reference regarding the bead sizes and amounts suggested, the bracelet shown closes at 7-3/4".
Six feet of cord is a longer length than will be needed but I’ve indicated this much to account for the cord end-snipping that often needs to be done when working with fibrous cord and different size beads. This amount also ensures there will be plenty of cord left at the end with which to tie a very secure end knot.