Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Terracotta Jewellery

Air-dry clay-Terracotta
Needle tool to make holes in beads (a tooth pick, or a skewer can be used instead)
Parchment paper/ aluminum foil
Paints (Acrylic/fabric paints)
Paint brushes
Thread and a hook
Utility knife
Rolling pin

Plan the style, length, shape, number, and size of the beads that are required to make the necklace. For this necklace, I used spherical and tapered beads and a pendant. If you want to make beads of similar size, use a weighing scale to get exact weight of the clay before rolling into beads. Or, you can eyeball the amounts.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper/ foil  and lay it over a flat surface. Take out a lemon-size clay and place it over the foil (seal the rest of the clay to prevent it from drying). Squeeze the clay with your hands to make a thick cylinder. Then, place the cylinder on parchment paper/foil and roll it using your palm into a long coil of around 1 cm-1.5 cm diameter. Make sure the diameter of the coil is uniform. Then cut into several small pieces. Each of these pieces are going to be beads. To make beads of equal size, be sure to cut into similar-length pieces from the long coil (or weigh the pieces)

To make spherical beads: Take a small piece that cut from the long coil in your hand and roll into a small sphere. Using needle tool or tooth pick, poke holes in the spherical bead.

To make tapered beads: Decide the length of the tapered bead and cut similar-length piece from the long coil. Using your index finger and thumb make the edges a bit curvy. Then, poke holes.

To make pendant: Take out a lemon-size clay and roll it flat (thickness should be around 1-1.5 cm) using a rolling pin. Then cut the required shape from it. Poke hole and make designs on the surface using stamps or simply by using a kitchen fork/skewer/tooth pick.

Once you made all the beads and pendant that are required to make the necklace, allow them to dry according to the package instructions. Make sure to dry at least a day before doing any painting on it. I used metallic shades of fabric paints. For painting a bead, strung it on a skewer/tooth pick/ needle tool, then apply paint. It is very easy to paint in this way than holding the beads with your fingers. Apply two coats of paint and once the paint has dried, apply spray glaze. Next, strung the beads and pendant using a thread and fix a hook.

Tips: If you feel the clay is getting dry while you working with it, you can simply wet your finger in water then work with clay.

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