Beads of Clay

I was recently persuaded to have a go with polymer clay by Jenny. I’ll admit that one thing I was lacking was confidence! Combine that with no more than scraps of knowledge and I was definitely not working from a position of strength. Regardless, I had a vague idea of something to make as a major item, plus some smaller items. Of the smaller items, one set will appear at a later date: filigree bead caps. The rest of the items were all used in this project! I used Sculpey clay, which is less prone to staining hnds or oher surfaces.

In addition, this project features, in its simplest form, another new activity: Gizmo wire coiling! The Gizmo is a simple tool that can be used to achieve some remarkable results. In essence, it makes coiling wire extremely easy, and it’s in this most basic way tht I used it for this project, using light wires.

Sculpey Garden Necklace

Sculpey Garden Necklace

Sculpey Garden Necklace Close-up

Sculpey Garden Necklace Close-up

 

The close-up shows the polymer clay elements more clearly. The pendant has peridot and amethyst chps embedded in it, which are supposed to suggest flowers. The hexagonal bead and the three yellow beads lead up to the gemstone beads of the neckace. It is rich in gemstones! Aventurine chips, smoky quartz nuggets, amethyst chips, Picasso jasper rondelles, snowflake obsidian rounds and garnet rounds all combine with brown, red and bright copper wire in creating the necklace.

Wrist or Ankle Decor

Why do I always describe things as bracelets if they’re small circlets?   It’s quite wrong of me, of course.  They could, after all, be either bracelets oranklets!  Anyway, whatever they may be, ultimately, here are two of them:

Carnelian Drop Bracelet

Carnelian Drop Bracelet

A gold-look chain with a single wire-wrapped carnelian and custom catch.

Circle of Delights Bracelet

Circle of Delights Bracelet

A charm circlet with garnets, two snowflake obsidian rounds, metal spacer beads and charms that represent (hopefully) things which delight some folk..

                                E     X     T     R    A                               

If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, Ring Sizer is an app I’m delighted to recommend.  The very clear name of the app sets the standard.  Easy to use but remaining attractive.  You can obtain accurate measurements of existing rings or any finger/thum (no, I haven’t tried it on toes!).  Measurements can be set to whatever national system you prefer.  There’s also a comprehensive conversion chart.

“Rosary” Necklace

I’m not a religious person but I had a desire to make a beaded cross. I finally got around to trying it. The resultant necklace, Jenny thinks, looks rather like a rosary:

Rosary Necklace

I used smoky quartz, Picasso jasper, carnelian, amethyst, garnet, ornate metal spacers and man-made beads.

Seeking Sophistication plus Camouflaged

During an outbreak of energy I did some beading that I thought was worth showing you:

Putting on the Ritz

Putting on the Ritz

This set for Jenny consists of carnelian, snowflake obsidian and garnet with gold seed and bugle beads. As you may guess, I was attempting to achieve a sophisticated look. Hopefully I succeeded…(?)

Camouflage Bracelet

Camouflage Bracelet

This bracelet I made for myself. It consists of Picasso jasper and green aventurine, with two carnelians as feature beads.

For the Love of Jenny…

There is no doubt in my mind.  My jewellery making efforts originate in my fascination with gemstones and, more powerfully, my love of Jenny.  In the case of the former, it represents the fact that I would  love to become a gemologist, an ambition which is sadly unrealistic.  The latter case is something I can and will continue to demonstrate.  So, these new items are most definitely in pursuit of the second, and primary, motivation!   Oh, and you’re likely to find that amethysts feature frequently, because amethyst is Jenny’s birthstone.

First up on the ‘gemwalk’  is an earring set, which I rather lamely called the Triplets Set.  Inspired by nothing more than possession of the rather beautiful findings from the Precious Accents range by Cousin Corporation of America (indubitably my favourite accessories supplier!).  The gemstones are carnelian, smoky quartz, garnet and amethyst.

Triplets Earring Set

Triplets Earring Set

The following is the Amethyst Falls Set.  Based on a desire to make an attractive but minimalist piece, it obviously required something other than my usual stringing material.  The necklace is based on oval chain.  The drops are populated with smoky quartz nuggets, as a weight, and amethyst chips.  The two flanking drops terminate in eyes, to permit some degree of adaptation, so that the necklace may have different looks.  The earrings reflect the centre drop of the necklace, and features the same gemstones.

Amethyst Falls Set

Amethyst Falls Set

I’m happy to say that Jenny loved them!

Plaiting

I was watching JewelleryMaker the other morning and the guest designer (sorry, his name escapes me) explained a technique that I really liked the idea of.  It’s very simple: plaiting the stringing material!  Done right, it can give the impression of chain.  Of course, I had to try it out as soon as I could!

I have fallen in love with a reel of bright 24 gauge copper wire (from Bead Smith).  It’s wonderful to work with!  I guesstimated a length of it based on making a bracelet.  With this cut into three equal(ish) pieces, I tied one end in a loose knot and fixed this to an anchoring point, with a foldback clip.  I then commenced plaiting the three strands – yes! just like plaiting hair.  Once I’d gone to a length I chose arbitrarily, I slipped a 4mm garnet round onto the middle strand.  I added another garnet each time the same strand became the middle one (assuming that that would space the garnets reasonably equally, which it did), until there were five garnets threaded on.  I then finished plaiting the strands to match the length before the first garnet.  It was now time to fit it to Jenny’s wrist, to fit her as she preferred.  I now made one end into a loop, anchoring the end to itself and trimming the excess.  The other end, I bent back about 1.5cm so that it could simply be hooked through the loop. The cut end of this hook will “grip” the plaited wire by just wrapping it gently.

Red Heat of Love Bracelet

Red Heat of Love Bracelet

This bracelet was apparently loved by everybody who saw it!  In fact, I’ve since made two more….

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