Metallic Accent Cuff Bracelet

Bracelet measures 7/8"wide

Bracelet measures 7/8"wide

 

Adding metal accents to this colorful cuff gives this bracelet a flashy look with lots of contrast.  Shape the clay around a metal bracelet form using my favorite technique for creating a profile that rivals store-bought bracelets.  Because the middle of the bracelet is thick it holds its shape when the form is removed after baking.  The form can be used for future projects.

This bracelet is made up of a thick one color base and a paper thin layer covering it.  The thin layer is made of several colors of your choosing.  I used turnip, poppy seed black, igloo white and translucent combined with silver leaf.  (See the note at the bottom of the page on how to apply silver leaf.)  Blending the turnip clay with white and black results in a beautiful bracelet with shades of pink, red, fuchsia, and deep reddish blacks, all sprinkled with silver. 

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

Directions

Before you begin, condition each clay color.  All cutting should be done on wax paper which will allow you to easily lift off the work when necessary.

step 1 - On your work surface roll out tubes of your color choices.  A half ounce of each will probably be more than you need.

step 1 - On your work surface roll out tubes of your color choices.  A half ounce of each will probably be more than you need.

step 2 - Group the tubes to create a simple "cane", which is nothing more than tubes of different colors arranged together. Give some thought to how many tubes you want of each color.  Do you want your finished bracelet to be predominantly dark or light?  The amount of each color will determine the outcome. If you want one color to be very fine, then that tube should be rolled much thinner than the rest.

step 2 - Group the tubes to create a simple "cane", which is nothing more than tubes of different colors arranged together. Give some thought to how many tubes you want of each color.  Do you want your finished bracelet to be predominantly dark or light?  The amount of each color will determine the outcome. If you want one color to be very fine, then that tube should be rolled much thinner than the rest.

step 3 - Once the tubes are grouped, put a piece of your dominant color through the conditioning machine and roll it out on the 7 or 8 setting.  Wrap that thin piece around the grouped tubes.  With your hand, gently roll the clay on the work surface to adhere the tubes to each other.

step 3 - Once the tubes are grouped, put a piece of your dominant color through the conditioning machine and roll it out on the 7 or 8 setting.  Wrap that thin piece around the grouped tubes.  With your hand, gently roll the clay on the work surface to adhere the tubes to each other.

step 4 - Use the slicing blade to cut off about four or five 1/4" thick pieces of the clay.

step 4 - Use the slicing blade to cut off about four or five 1/4" thick pieces of the clay.

step 5 - Put the slices through the conditioning machine starting with a #1 setting.  Roll it into a loose log with our hands then pass it through the machine again.  Fold in half and pass it through again on a thinner setting. If you pass a rectangular shaped clay through the machine multiple times, you will only stretch the colors vertically.  Try also feeding the clay horizontally to stretch colors across the piece.  Continue on a very thin setting until you've reached pattern of color blends you like.

step 5 - Put the slices through the conditioning machine starting with a #1 setting.  Roll it into a loose log with our hands then pass it through the machine again.  Fold in half and pass it through again on a thinner setting. If you pass a rectangular shaped clay through the machine multiple times, you will only stretch the colors vertically.  Try also feeding the clay horizontally to stretch colors across the piece.  Continue on a very thin setting until you've reached pattern of color blends you like.

step 6 - Roll about 3/4 oz. of your base color into a tube with your hands until it reaches from one end of the bracelet form to the other and is at least 2/3 as wide as the form.   Press the clay to the form.   

step 6 - Roll about 3/4 oz. of your base color into a tube with your hands until it reaches from one end of the bracelet form to the other and is at least 2/3 as wide as the form.   Press the clay to the form. 

 

step 7 - Lay plastic wrap over the clay to minimize finger prints and allow you to shape it evenly.  Gently smooth it with your thumbs from the middle to the outer edges so it is thinner at the sides and wider in the middle, creating a slightly half-round bracelet shape. The clay should slightly overlap the side edges of the bracelet form.   Don't worry about trimming excess at the sides now.

step 7 - Lay plastic wrap over the clay to minimize finger prints and allow you to shape it evenly.  Gently smooth it with your thumbs from the middle to the outer edges so it is thinner at the sides and wider in the middle, creating a slightly half-round bracelet shape. The clay should slightly overlap the side edges of the bracelet form.   Don't worry about trimming excess at the sides now.

step 8 - Look at your stretched cane pieces and decide where to position them on the base and also also if you want to angle them across the clay to take advantage of color patterns.  Overlap cane ends or if you prefer, space the pieces to allow the base color to show through.  This is an artistic decision.  Overlapped pieces will not be lumpy on the finished work if the pieces are very thin.

step 8 - Look at your stretched cane pieces and decide where to position them on the base and also also if you want to angle them across the clay to take advantage of color patterns.  Overlap cane ends or if you prefer, space the pieces to allow the base color to show through.  This is an artistic decision.  Overlapped pieces will not be lumpy on the finished work if the pieces are very thin.

step 9 - Once you've arranged the pieces, smooth the canes over the edges of the form.  Cover it with plastic wrap and gently rub overlapping cane edges to blend them. Rub only in one direction.

step 10 - Using a blade at an angle, run along the edge of the form to trim the excess clay from the edges.  If necessary, cover the bracelet with plastic and smooth the edges again. 

step 10 - Using a blade at an angle, run along the edge of the form to trim the excess clay from the edges.  If necessary, cover the bracelet with plastic and smooth the edges again. 

step 11 - Bake the bracelet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes in an oven set to 275 degrees.  Allow the clay to cool completely before handling.

step 12 - Pry the end of a knitting needle or other tool between the clay and bracelet form to separate them.

step 13 - The edges of the bracelet may feel sharp.  This is easy to remedy with simple sanding.  Use a 400 grit wet/dry sand paper to smooth the edges.  This isn't a major job and doesn't require a lot of pressure.  Just run the sand paper along the edges making sure the clay and sandpaper are thoroughly wet.

step 14 - Finish the surface of the bracelet by sanding in the same way.  Start with 400 grit and work up to 1000 grit to produce a really smooth buffed finish.

step 15 - If you prefer a glossy finish apply Sculpey glaze to the surface of the bracelet with a brush.

Silver Leaf

There are various products and techniques for applying Silver Leaf.  My preference is Speedball Simple Leaf.  These are silver coated sheets.  The product can be used on many surfaces and the directions on the package are not for clay.  For this project, adhere the silver leaf to translucent clay which will produce good visibility.  Roll the clay very thin and lay it on a sheet of silver leaf.  Run an acrylic roller across it to transfer the silver to the clay.  Peel the clay off the sheet.  On your work surface, roll the clay with your hands to create a tube with the silver on the outside of the roll. Group it with your other colors in your cane to create metallic silver effects throughout your bracelet surface.

NOTE:  I used clay colors I had on hand which were Sculpey Souffle colors.  You can substitute Sculpey Premo colors for the white and black in this project to achieve the colors in this bracelet.


Supplies

At Amazon

  • 1/2 oz. of each minor color ( igloo, poppy seed, translucent), and 1 oz. of (turnip) your predominant color clay
  • Sculpey Clay conditioning machine
  • Sculpey Super Slicer blade
  • Sculpey Gloss Glaze
  • bracelet form
  • silver leaf

Miscellaneous

  • Plastic wrap
  • small brush
  • parchment paper
  • small knitting needle

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