Cord And Clay Ink Bracelet

turquoise bracelet measures 6.75”

turquoise bracelet measures 6.75”

magenta bracelet measures 7.75”

magenta bracelet measures 7.75”

 

There are many different ways to connect clay bracelet beads. So many in fact, I dedicated my entire book Hinged Clay Bracelets to the subject! I came up with several unique ideas for connections and thought I had explored them all. And then this concept came to me. Why not use beading cord to connect clay pieces? That’s just what I’ve done with this bracelet. The clay pieces are layered allowing cord to travel through them. Round metal beads separate the clay with colors that accent the clay. The clay beads are made with relatively thin layers so I textured the top layer, which makes the very slight bump of the cord virtually invisible. If you made this bracelet with a smooth top layer, it would have to be very thick to conceal the cord line. Alcohol ink and a rubber stamp add dimension and color to the turquoise clay. I chose this diagonal shaped bead and have included a free template for it with the pdf download. You could also make this project with simple square beads using this same technique.

Before you begin, condition clay. 

IMPORTANT NOTE - Setting numbers vary on clay conditioning machines.  On my Sculpey machine the thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9.

Directions

step 1 - Roll out two strips of Turquoise clay on the #3 setting of the conditioning machine. Each should measure approximately 7” x 1.50”.

step 1 - Roll out two strips of Turquoise clay on the #3 setting of the conditioning machine. Each should measure approximately 7” x 1.50”.

step 2 - Pour a couple of drops of Mushroom, Sunbright Yellow, and Calabaza Orange alcohol ink directly onto the center of a ceramic tile that is bigger than one clay strip. Let the ink disburse a little.

step 2 - Pour a couple of drops of Mushroom, Sunbright Yellow, and Calabaza Orange alcohol ink directly onto the center of a ceramic tile that is bigger than one clay strip. Let the ink disburse a little.

step 3 - Dab portions of the clay strip onto the ink. Turn it over to see the result. When the ink on the tile starts to evaporate, mist it lightly with alcohol. Dab the clay again. If there isn’t enough color, add more drops of ink to the tile. See more details for adding color at the bottom of this page.

step 3 - Dab portions of the clay strip onto the ink. Turn it over to see the result. When the ink on the tile starts to evaporate, mist it lightly with alcohol. Dab the clay again. If there isn’t enough color, add more drops of ink to the tile. See more details for adding color at the bottom of this page.

step 4 - Allow the ink to dry completely. Choose a rubber stamp to emboss the clay.

step 4 - Allow the ink to dry completely. Choose a rubber stamp to emboss the clay.

step 5 - Place the stamp face down on the clay and roll over it to transfer the stamp design. If the stamp doesn’t cover the entire strip, lift it and set it down on other areas until the entire strip is embossed.

step 5 - Place the stamp face down on the clay and roll over it to transfer the stamp design. If the stamp doesn’t cover the entire strip, lift it and set it down on other areas until the entire strip is embossed.

step 6 - If desired, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and drag it across the surface in areas where you would like the original turquoise color completely exposed.

step 6 - If desired, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and drag it across the surface in areas where you would like the original turquoise color completely exposed.

 
 
step 7 - Print out the individual bead templates and cut them out with a craft knife. You will need six center bead stencils and two end bead stencils. (If you have a stencil cutting machine like me, you can duplicate my bead templates to create one complete stencil with all the beads aligned in a row.) Place the stencil on the plain turquoise strip and cut out the shapes with a craft knife.

step 7 - Print out the individual bead templates and cut them out with a craft knife. You will need six center bead stencils and two end bead stencils. (If you have a stencil cutting machine like me, you can duplicate my bead templates to create one complete stencil with all the beads aligned in a row.) Place the stencil on the plain turquoise strip and cut out the shapes with a craft knife.

step 8 - Use the stencil to cut out beads from the embossed clay strip.

step 8 - Use the stencil to cut out beads from the embossed clay strip.

step 9 - Attach an 8” x 2” piece of parchment paper to a ceramic tile with painters tape. Draw a straight line horizontally across the paper. Place the turquoise clay pieces on the line with a little spacing between them. This doesn’t need to be precise, as you will be adjusting them later.

step 9 - Attach an 8” x 2” piece of parchment paper to a ceramic tile with painters tape. Draw a straight line horizontally across the paper. Place the turquoise clay pieces on the line with a little spacing between them. This doesn’t need to be precise, as you will be adjusting them later.

step 10 - Unwrap the cord from the packaging. Iron the bends out of the last two feet of cord opposite the needle end.

step 10 - Unwrap the cord from the packaging. Iron the bends out of the last two feet of cord opposite the needle end.

step 11 - Slip eight beads onto the needle and move them to the end of the cord. Cut the cord to measure 12”. Set it aside and create a second beaded cord measuring 12”.

step 11 - Slip eight beads onto the needle and move them to the end of the cord. Cut the cord to measure 12”. Set it aside and create a second beaded cord measuring 12”.

step 12 - With a brush, apply Liquid Polymer Clay to the turquoise pieces.

step 12 - With a brush, apply Liquid Polymer Clay to the turquoise pieces.

step 13 - Tape the end of one cord onto the left side of the tile about .25” down from the top edge of the clay.

step 13 - Tape the end of one cord onto the left side of the tile about .25” down from the top edge of the clay.

step 16 - Apply Liquid Polymer Clay to the cord’s surface.

step 16 - Apply Liquid Polymer Clay to the cord’s surface.

step 14 - Pull the cord taught and one by one, slide the copper beads into the spaces between the turquoise pieces.

step 14 - Pull the cord taught and one by one, slide the copper beads into the spaces between the turquoise pieces.

step 17 - Add the second beaded cord to the bottom of the turquoise pieces in the same way. Now is the time to align the clay with equal spacing allowing the beads to rest between pieces.

step 17 - Add the second beaded cord to the bottom of the turquoise pieces in the same way. Now is the time to align the clay with equal spacing allowing the beads to rest between pieces.

 
step 15 - Work across the row then tape the cord to the right side of the tile.

step 15 - Work across the row then tape the cord to the right side of the tile.

step 18 - One by one, brush the back sides of the embossed clay pieces and place them on the turquoise pieces aligning the edges.

step 18 - One by one, brush the back sides of the embossed clay pieces and place them on the turquoise pieces aligning the edges.

step 19 - Remove the tape holding down the cord ends. Gently slip the cords out from in between the two end bead layers. Cut off excess and tuck the ends back between the layers so they are not visible.

step 19 - Remove the tape holding down the cord ends. Gently slip the cords out from in between the two end bead layers. Cut off excess and tuck the ends back between the layers so they are not visible.

step 20 - Working across the entire row, press all the layered bead edges together.

step 21 - Use the stencil and a tiny hole cutter to cut three holes for the jump rings.

step 21 - Use the stencil and a tiny hole cutter to cut three holes for the jump rings.

step 22 - Place the project in a 275 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

step 22 - Place the project in a 275 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

step 23 - Allow the project to cool then buff with a Dremel or apply glaze.

 step 24 - Attach jump rings to the holes in the end pieces and connect a tube clasp.

Cord.jpg

The Magenta Bracelet

The 6mm round silver beads extended this bracelet to 7.75” long.

Silver, Black and White Alcohol Ink were used.

The Textured beads were cut (on the long side) 1/8” shorter than the template and layered over solid Black Premo pieces cut to the same size as the template.

Coloring Tips

Coloring the clay is a process of building layers. Keep checking the clay after dabbing. When you feel happy with the result, drop white ink onto the tile. Dab the clay into it or touch your gloved finger into the white ink then touch the clay to add lightness to the colors. Be aware that dragging the clay through the ink will sometimes blend the colors too much while dabbing creates designs. Dragging may also result in muddy colors.


Supplies

At Amazon

  • Clay Clay conditioning machine

  • Jewelry pliers and cutters

  • Jacquard Pinata alcohol inks in Sunbright Yellow, CalaBaza Orange, Blanco

  • Griffin #6 Brown beading cord

At Michaels Store

  • Tim Holtz Mushroom alcohol ink

  • Premo Turquoise Clay (approx. 1 oz.)

  • Small brush

  • Craft knife

  • Tissue blade

  • 4mm copper ball beads - 16

  • Paisley design rubber stamp

  • Liquid polymer clay

  • Dremel buffer or Sculpey Gloss Glaze

  • Painters tape

  • Acrylic roller

  • Plastic mister bottle

  • Tiny hole cutter (approx. 2mm)

  • 6mm copper jump rings – 6

  • Copper tube clasp (3 hole)

Walgreens

  • 91% Isopropyl Alcohol

Miscellaneous

  • Parchment paper

  • Ceramic tile

  • Q-tip

  • Iron

  • Scissors


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