Clay and Wire Asian Art Necklace

Victoria Slone of Chicago uses her skills from Chinese brush-painting class to create original images for her jewelry.

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Victoria Slone works out of her "small, but perfect" studio in her apartment to make beautiful, unique necklaces that were inspired by her postage stamp collection. Admiring them one day, she realized that they were so beautiful that she wanted to somehow display them in jewelry. She found success and now makes a variety of pendants for necklaces. Her technique blends polymer clay, zigzagged wire pieces, and an image painted onto rice paper into one far out necklace from the Far East.

Materials:

polymer clay: transparent, black
black calligraphy ink
red ink
glue stick
polyurethane
clay cutting tool
rolling pin
rubber stamp with wording
seed beads
18- and 22-gauge round wire
barrel clasp
2 split rings
409 adhesive
flat-nosed pliers
round-nosed pliers
wire cutters
jig and jig pegs
jewelry file
rubber

Steps:

1. To make the charm: Pre-heat oven to 275 F degrees. Wash your hands and dry them well. Lay a slab of clay out on glass, a cutting board or parchment paper. Knead the clay until it's smooth and pliable.

2. Use a rolling pin to roll out a flat surface, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Use both black and transparent polymer clay.

3. Cut a fan shape out of the clay. First cut out a larger fan shape in black clay and then make a smaller fan-shaped piece out of gray clay to affix on top of the black clay.

4. Using a pin, nail or some sort of pointy object, poke a hole through the top of the clay charm so that it may hang from the necklace.

5. Bake the pieces for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay. The total clay here is 1/2 inch thick, so this will need to bake for 30 minutes.

6. Paint any image you like on the rice paper using black ink. Then stamp the words with red ink. Press this somewhere on the portion with the female image.

7. Once the clay has finished baking and has cooled, cut out the image on the rice paper in a smaller fan shape to glue to the gray clay base. It will need to be sealed with a coat of polyurethane.

8. To make the beaded strand: Pick out your wire and beads. In this example, the artist used red seed beads and black wire to offset the color found in the charm.

9. Measure the length of your favorite necklace. For this design, it can be a close-fitting almost choker style necklace or a looser drop necklace.

10. Place the pegs in the jig in an abstract pattern. Cut off approximately 10 4-inch pieces of the 18-gauge wire.

11. With the round-nose pliers, form a starting loop on one of the pieces of wire. Begin at one end of the jig and wrap around the pattern of pegs. Do this for all remaining pieces. Make sure to hammer each piece flat once taken off the jig to strengthen the wire.

12. To connect all of the pieces together, cut six 1-inch-long pieces of 22-gauge wire. Thread the seed beads onto the wire. Loop one end around the end of two of your main pieces to affix together. Set aside.

13. To add the charm to the necklace: Once your clay charm is finished, slide a split ring through the hole on the top of the charm. Do this by splitting open the split ring with split ring pliers, sliding it through the hole and then crimping the split ring back shut once attached to the two wire strands you have already finished.

14. To add the clasp, use the split ring pliers to connect a split ring to each loop at end of the necklace.

Website: www.adornonline.com

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