Today, I'm getting into the core bead development of my 12 Days of Jewellery Project. As promised, all the beads are very simple to make. I used Premo Sculpey to make all the beads. Look back to yesterday's post for specific colours.
My first bead is a little star shape and my first item is Star Stud Earrings.
I made the star shape using a punch cutter. Making a clean, crisp star shape with this very small cutter can be tricky. Sometimes, the points of the star stick in the punch and occasionally the star is domed as its pushed out of the cutter. The Sculpey clay can get a bit sticky too, after handling. If I sense this happening, I will let the clay rest and it firms up well after about 10 mins.
Here is a look at the tools I've used and the tiny amount of clay required for this project.
I started with a small ball of conditioned clay and simple squashed it flat with my thumb. I cut of a single star in this photo but after I've completed my prototype I will make a batch of about 10 per colour. I don't tend to make any more than that because I want each item to be a unique piece. I will certainly alter sizes and clay colours as well as surface designs and embellishments.
I have some tiny sterling silver posts which I always place in the uncooked clay before baking. I've had problems with rebaking when posts are added to hardened baked clay - mostly the clay will crack and the bead splits.
The post will need to be 'bedded in' with clay and re baked - I will also glue in the post to keep the posts in place until baked. These posts have a little end stick which works well to anchor the posts into the tiny stars.
I make an even smaller ball of clay and place it over the post. The scrap of paper (with the hole) helps to push down the clay.
When the clay has been smoothed and blended into the back of the bead, the entire post is embedded in the earring. I like the neat, simple effect this gives.
This tile shows four sample earrings. I've changed each one slightly and added a few crystals to the gold version. Each earring needs to have the posts embedded and the whole thing rebaked.
I hope you are inspired to make some Star Stud earrings for Christmas gifts. After the 12 Days Project I will share my gift wrap ideas for my gifts. Look out tomorrow for the next item.
Thanks for reading.