Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Speaking about jewelry we mean: earrings, beads, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and charms. For sculpting earrings and charms we have particular pages on the web-site with very detailed lessons. Also, depending on your idea, you can use miniature objects for your decoration, for example, cookies, berries, free lessons on polymer clay food sculpting here. And also, definitely, flowers, they are very often used for sculpting jewelry! A special page about modeling flowers on our website: “Polymer Clay Ideas” on this page: polymer clay flowers.
Polymer clay jewelry Ideas. Tutorial on polymer clay
By sculpting polymer clay jewelry, we will mainly mean imitation techniques, for example, stone, or techniques for creating interesting textures, which are practically never used anywhere else during sculpting figurines, flowers and other objects. This page will be constantly updated and replenished with new ideas and modeling techniques. The first tutorials, a set of jewelry is made using the “Lentil” technique, Potal, Cane, Extruder. On this page the technique of making these beads is shown in great detail. On the same page, which is constantly updated with new ideas, you will get acquainted with the main techniques that are used exactly for sculpting jewelry. You will also see the main lessons about how are the jewelry is compiled, what is used for this? How to use all kinds of bijouterie accessories during compiling polymer clay jewelry.
Polymer clay jewelry making technique
You will get acquainted with the main techniques that are used exactly for sculpting jewelry.
1. Millefiori Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique. Polymer clay cane
Simply speaking, this is a technique of compiling a complex pattern of more simple elements. The principle of the technique is as follows: from a piece of plastic on a surface, lay out a pattern, then squeeze it evenly and cut into thin “slices”, getting the same pattern on the cut. Millefiori (from Italian “milli” – a thousand and “fiori” – flowers) – an ancient technique of Italian glassblowers, during which a pattern on the glass is formed along the entire length of the glass cylinder. In 1981 Esther Olson was the first person, who applied a similar technology to polymer clay. She held a workshop on the manufacture of decorative miniature plastic candies using the principles of glass-blowing technology. In the world of polymer clay, this technique is called “caning” from the English “cane“, these bars with a pattern inside started to be called sausages. This is the most popular and basic technique for working with polymer clay. The sausages are made not only floral, but also with a variety of patterns.
A quick tutorial on”Millefiori” technique:
Read the full tutorial just below on the same page, for a quick jump, click on the link.
2. Kaleidoscope Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
This technique is very similar to the previous one, only in the working process the sausage is also cut and squeezed differently into triangles, squares, etc.
3. Mokume gane Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The method is borrowed from the technique of Japanese gunsmiths, where metals of different colors were used. The methods of getting a peculiar pattern by folding of color layers. Then these layers are pushed through with various stamps, forms. And after that they are carefully cut off with a blade from above and as a result, each time we see a unique pattern.
4. Mica shift Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Mica-shift – this term combines various ways of getting a picture in metal clays. The pattern is formed due to the different orientation of the metal inclusions. In translation, it means “mica shift”, because for the fulfillment of work using this technique you will need the so-called metallic. Due to the fact that mica particles reflect light differently, it is possible to create volumetric patterned effects on a completely flat surface. For example, on the picture we can see a convex image, although in fact the plastic cabochon is absolutely smooth.
5. Bargello Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Bardzhello. In translation, the name of this technique means “flinders.” Narrowly cut strips of polymer clay, shifting to each other, form various patterns.
7. Filigree Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Filigree plastic products are created in the following way: colored polymer clay is rolled into thin and super thin sausages (about 1 mm of thickness), then these sausages can be flattened or twisted together. We the cords we get in the result we can decorate stones, beads or other plastic wares. An important addition is the “grain” – small balls made of polymer clay, which are attached in those places where it is necessary to emphasize.
8. Imitation Techniques. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Imitation of stone and made not only of polymer clay. An unimaginable number of different imitations can be made of polymer clay: turquoise, amber, opal, malachite, glass, wood, leather, ivory, asphalt, mosaic. Exactly this technique itself can be divided into many subsections that are all full of value.
9 Watercolor Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The principle of this technique is as follows: first we roll out a colored clay layer, put white and black thin layers under it, roll it all together, and then tear it into pieces. We sculpt the torn pieces on our product, roll it and get an interesting effect.
10 “Lentil” Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Such beautiful beads can be obtained by rolling a bead in a special way with the help of a small square of glass.
A quick tutorial on “Lentil” technique:
Read the full tutorial just below on the same page, for a quick jump, click on the link –
11 Technique of transferring images to clay. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The name speaks for itself. The peculiarity of this technique is that during transferring of images we use a special gel for polymer clay.
12 Skinner blend Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The Skinner Blend technique got its name in honor of the name of polymer clay designer Juthit Skinner, who first used this technique in her work. This technique allows you to get products with a smooth transition from one color to another.
Skinner blend Technique. Tutorial on polymer clay
1. Choose 2 colors of polymer clay, which, when mixed, give a beautiful color.
2. Roll each color of clay into a sheet that is approximately 0,125″ (≈3mm) thick. Cut the clay into a square.
3. Cut across each sheet diagonally to create two triangles. Depending on the idea, you can, as shown in our tutorial.
4. Press the touching seams of the two triangles together.
5. Roll out the clay (with a rolling pin, or use a pasta machine for speed – use the thickest setting on your pasta machine).
6. After roll the clay the first time, fold the sheet in half, bringing the bottom edge up even with the top. Flatten the folded edge slightly to keep your sheet neat, roll it out again.
If you are rolling by hand (like us), try to flatten the slab of clay only until it reaches its original thickness (about 0,125″).
7. Repeat this process (rolling and folding) numerous times, being sure to fold in the same direction (bottom to top), about 20 times.
13 Through Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
A technique that allows you to get beads, cabochons, etc., that are hollow inside. The materials used in the technique are diverse – glue, wax, paper … But in the end the result is the same – the product which is openwork and hollow inside.
14 Potal. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Polymer clay + potal. Potal is thin, almost weightless metal sheets used to decorate various products. Potal can be silver, gold and copper, as well as with stains of various colors and variations. Surely, the craftswomen that make polymer clay jewelry did not ignore this wonderful material, which gives an incomparable cracking effect. There are a lot of methods of potal using with plastic products, you can make experiments and choose which more for your taste is. However, they are all united by one important point: the potal must be fixed after the product is finished. For making this can be used a variety of varnishes for plastic, transparent hardening polymer gels, epoxy resin.
15 Stamps and Textures. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
This is great option for decorating flat, smooth surfaces of plastic products. Nowadays in special stores you can find ready-made stamps for each taste. But you can use improvised objects instead of a stamp (for example, as we showed here, we used a button instead of a stamp). It’s also a good idea to make the stamp by yourself, exactly in the way you would like to see it, such lessons will be posted on our blog.
16 Brain Technique. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The technique is also fundamentally not complicated, the sense of which is to apply a plastic layer with a gradient stretch of two, three or more colors to black and white rolled layers, which is not difficult to achieve on a pasta- machine. Subsequently, a pattern is laid out from the resulting layer.
17 Syringe (extruder) equipment. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
Extruder for polymer clay.
An extruder is used in this technique – a device that allows to extrude clay with sausages of desired shape on a cut.
A quick tutorial on «Extruder» technique:
Read the full tutorial just below on the same page, for a quick jump, click on the link.
18 Torn Edge. Polymer clay jewelry making technique
The Torn Edge Technique is based on the principle of torn edges of polymer clay layers. This effect is got (or is it still a defect?) due to rolling of the cooled polymer clay in a pasta-machine.
Tutorial on polymer clay Technique “Lentil”
Order of procedures:
- We take 2 small pieces of polymer clay and roll them into sausages.
2. Cut the sausages into 4 equal parts.
3. We put the sausages together in a free order.
4. Roll out into a sausage.
5. Twist the sausage in a spiral.
6. Fold it in a half and roll out again in a sausage.
7. Cut the sausage into equal parts and roll them into balls.
8. Take the ball and gently press it with the glass. Start to turn the glass gently clockwise or counterclockwise. The movements should be soft, no need to press strongly. Tilt the glass slightly relative to the surface to give the ball a cone shape. Continue twisting in one of the selected directions until you get necessary shape.
9. Press the ball lightly with the glass.
10. Make a hole with a toothpick.
11. Bake the beads at the temperature indicated on the package. After cooling, cover the beads with varnish. We compile them in a product (how to do it, will be shown in detail in the following lessons using an other product example).
In the end we get such a set of polymer clay jewelry.
Creation of polymer clay jewelry using the “Millefiori” technique – Polymer clay cane tutorial
Creation of polymer clay jewelry «Rainbow spiral»
1. Roll out polymer clay of different colors.
2. Add the desired illustration, in our case, it’s just a sequence of colors.
3. Roll up the sausage (cane). Press it well.
4. Cut the sausage into small circles.
5. We put these circles next to each other. Press firmly, and slightly roll out the resulting picture.
6. With the help of a cutter we cut out the decoration of the desired shape. In our case, it will be a set of jewelry pendants and earrings in the form of hearts.
7. Insert the fastening accessories.
8. Bake the resulting decorations according to the instructions for your polymer clay.
9. Assemble a set of jewelry using bijouterie accessories.
Detailed video tutorial:
A set of jewelry made of polymer clay using the extruder technique. Scaly Jewelry Set: Bracelet, Pendant, Earrings. A photo tutorial on modeling.
1-2. We roll out a layer of polymer clay and using an extruder with a removed nozzle, we cut out circles.
3-4. Roll out polymer clay of other colors, and cut out circles in the same way.
5. Fold the cut out circles one after another.
6. We put polymer clay into the extruder.
7. We put the nozzle on the extruder with one fairly large round hole. AND EXTRUDE THE LONG CANE.
8. We take clay of any color, it will be the base, it will not be visible, so you can mix the remains of clay of different colors. Roll out a strip large enough to make a bracelet.
9. To make a bracelet, we take an empty reel from under the office tape, grease it with Fimo gel. We cover it with a rolled strip – this will be the base of the bracelet.
10-11. From the cane obtained from the extruder, we carefully cut the circles with the resulting pattern, and spread them in a circle, as shown in the photo.
12-13. Do not forget to lubricate the base with Fimo gel so that the circles after baking are securely held on the base.
14. Roll out polymer clay of the desired color. Cut out 2 identical circles from polymer clay, this will be the base for the earrings, the reverse side of the earrings will be visible. Therefore, it is worth choosing the color of the clay that was used to make the drawing.
Cut out a larger circle, this will be the basis for the pendant.
15. Insert the accessories for fastening, grease it with Fimo gel, and in the same way, from the same circles, we spread the pattern on the earrings and the pendant.
16. We bake our jewelry according to the instructions for your polymer clay. In our tutorial, we used Cernit clay. Here we get such a beautiful set of jewelry.