Plum Pretty Necklace

necklace measures 18"

necklace measures 18"

 

Plum, olive green and blue pearl is the color scheme for this glimmering clay necklace.  Yes, clay! A friend asked if I put it in a kiln. Many people believe that’s the only way to make things with clay but this product only needs to bake in the kitchen oven for 30 minutes. After it cools, glaze the beads and the result is a row of shiny, colorful, perfectly shaped beads on a beautiful necklace. My beads started off oval, then I changed them to circular. But in the end I realized I wanted them to lay flat against the skin so I squished them slightly with my thumb. If you see a bit of sheen here and there, it’s an effect of the blue pearl mixing with the other colors. When you’re rolling the clay, you will be oohing and aahing over the awesome colors and patterns that develop. It’s a little like watching fireworks.
Not feeling ambitious enough for this project? Just make the pendant and hang it on a silver chain. A minimal effort for a stunning result.
This may be my favorite clay project... until the next one! 

Directions

step 1 - Condition about 2 oz. of each clay color.  Use an acrylic roller or put it through a pasta machine to create layers that are the same thickness, about 1/16” or less.  Use a cutter to make sheets the same dimension.  Stack them with blue on the bottom, then green then plum.  Alternate the colors until you have used up your sheets.  This photo is not from this project but shows how to stack the clay.

step 1 - Condition about 2 oz. of each clay color.  Use an acrylic roller or put it through a pasta machine to create layers that are the same thickness, about 1/16” or less.  Use a cutter to make sheets the same dimension.  Stack them with blue on the bottom, then green then plum.  Alternate the colors until you have used up your sheets.  This photo is not from this project but shows how to stack the clay.

step 2 - Cut through the stack from top to bottom cutting .50” wide slices.  Roll each slice into a cigar shape on the work surface.  Now twist and roll again to blend the colors.  If you’re not happy with the result, fold the “cigar” in half and roll again until you have the color blend and thickness you want for the bead.  Steps and photosare included here for oval beads because I was going to use them but changed my mind.  If you want the same shape beds as my necklace skip steps 3-5.  The oval beads should be about 5/8” thick.

step 2 - Cut through the stack from top to bottom cutting .50” wide slices.  Roll each slice into a cigar shape on the work surface.  Now twist and roll again to blend the colors.  If you’re not happy with the result, fold the “cigar” in half and roll again until you have the color blend and thickness you want for the bead.  Steps and photosare included here for oval beads because I was going to use them but changed my mind.  If you want the same shape beds as my necklace skip steps 3-5.  The oval beads should be about 5/8” thick.

step 3 - Cut the roll into identical size pieces measuring about .50” wide. 

step 3 - Cut the roll into identical size pieces measuring about .50” wide. 

step 4 - Roll the pieces in the palm of your hand to shape the oval beads.  

step 4 - Roll the pieces in the palm of your hand to shape the oval beads.

 

step 5 - Create holes in the beads by first lightly piercing one side with the narrow end of an Etch ‘N Pearl tool.  Remove the tool and bring it to the other side.  With a gentle turning motion, move the tool through the bead and out the pierced end.

step 5 - Create holes in the beads by first lightly piercing one side with the narrow end of an Etch ‘N Pearl tool.  Remove the tool and bring it to the other side.  With a gentle turning motion, move the tool through the bead and out the pierced end.

step 6 - Roll your cigars to no less than 1/8” thick.   Lay a piece of kitchen plastic wrap across the clay. Using a .50” round mini cutter, push down on the plastic and clay to form beads.

step 6 - Roll your cigars to no less than 1/8” thick.   Lay a piece of kitchen plastic wrap across the clay. Using a .50” round mini cutter, push down on the plastic and clay to form beads.

step 7 - The plastic wrap helps to create beautifully curved edges.  You will need ten beads but cut extras.  Each will have a different color pattern so you may find some you like better than others.

step 7 - The plastic wrap helps to create beautifully curved edges.  You will need ten beads but cut extras.  Each will have a different color pattern so you may find some you like better than others.

step 8 - Create holes in the beads by first lightly piercing one side with the narrow end of an Etch ‘N Pearl tool.  Remove the tool and bring it to the other side and with a gentle turning motion, move the tool through the bead and out the pierced end.

step 8 - Create holes in the beads by first lightly piercing one side with the narrow end of an Etch ‘N Pearl tool.  Remove the tool and bring it to the other side and with a gentle turning motion, move the tool through the bead and out the pierced end.

step 9 - Roll a clay piece to no less than 1/8” thick.  Overlap pieces if necessary.  Use a one inch square cutter to form the pendant.  Position the square on an area of clay with good color blends.  Don’t forget to use the plastic wrap. 

step 9 - Roll a clay piece to no less than 1/8” thick.  Overlap pieces if necessary.  Use a one inch square cutter to form the pendant.  Position the square on an area of clay with good color blends.  Don’t forget to use the plastic wrap. 

step 10 - Cut a notch from one corner of the square so it will hug the pendant bail later.  Bake the beads and pendant in a 275 degree oven on a parchment lined flat baking sheet.  Allow to cool completely before handling.

step 10 - Cut a notch from one corner of the square so it will hug the pendant bail later.  Bake the beads and pendant in a 275 degree oven on a parchment lined flat baking sheet.  Allow to cool completely before handling.

step 11 - Glaze the beads by slipping them onto nail head wires.  Curve the top of the wire to create hooks for hanging.  Fill a small container with Diamond Glaze and dip each bead into the glaze.  Hang on a wire clothes hanger with protective plastic beneath to catch drips.

step 11 - Glaze the beads by slipping them onto nail head wires.  Curve the top of the wire to create hooks for hanging.  Fill a small container with Diamond Glaze and dip each bead into the glaze.  Hang on a wire clothes hanger with protective plastic beneath to catch drips.

Step 12 - Place the pendant on plastic and run the glaze bottle’s applicator tip around the outside edges of the pendant square.  Fill the center with just enough glaze so that it runs together to form an even layer. Allow pendant and beads to dry for 24 hours.  To remove the wires from the beads, use a twisting motion as you push the nail head out of the bead.  Snip the nail head off with wire cutters and pull the wire out.
Glue the bail to the backside of the pendant with E-6000 jewelry glue.
OPTIONAL:  Before adding the bail, use a brush to coat the backside of the pendant with a light coat of glaze.

step 13 - Add 5 clay beads onto a strand of beading wire with two silver beads separating each.  After the fifth bead add 5 silver beads followed by the pendant.  Add 5 more sets of clay and silver beads.

step 13 - Add 5 clay beads onto a strand of beading wire with two silver beads separating each.  After the fifth bead add 5 silver beads followed by the pendant.  Add 5 more sets of clay and silver beads.

Supplies

At JoAnn’s or Amazon

  • plum, blue pearl, olive green Premo Sculpey clay
  • Sculpey Etch ‘N Pearl tool
  • mini clay cutters
  • 10” of silver chain
  • jump rings
  • lobster clasp
  • clamshells
  • nail head wires
  • acrylic roller or pasta machine
  • plastic wrap
  • parchment paper
  • silver bail
  • 3mm Silver beads
  • E-6000glue
  • wire cutters

At Amazon

  • Diamond Glaze
step 14 - Add a clam shell to each end of the beading wire.  If you’re unsure how to attach them see Jewelry Making Techniques and Tools. 

step 14 - Add a clam shell to each end of the beading wire.  If you’re unsure how to attach them see Jewelry Making Techniques and Tools. 

 
step 15 - Attach a 5.5” length of chain to the hook of each clam shell.  Attach a lobster clasp to the end of one chain and a jump ring to the other.

step 15 - Attach a 5.5” length of chain to the hook of each clam shell.  Attach a lobster clasp to the end of one chain and a jump ring to the other.

 

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