Transfer Mosaic Necklace
Transfer a photocopied image onto clay and make a unique necklace with these step-by-step intructions.
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Project by Ann and Karen Mitchell.
Materials and Tools:
1/2 block tan Premo clay
1/2 block black Premo clay
red russet mica powder
1-1/2" round photocopy image*
2 oz. bottle translucent liquid Sculpey
pasta machine (Atlas brand preferred) or brayer
needle- or round-nose pliers
heavy-duty wire clippers
necklace memory wire
96 smooth black 4mm glass beads
1-3/4" round cookie cutter
3/16" gold-colored split or jump ring
2" gold-colored head or eye pin
3" square wax paper
small glass or metal dish
burnishing tool (optional)
* Photocopied image should be made with toner and have a 1/2" paper edge around the image.
1. Condition tan clay. Roll through pasta maker on a number 1 setting. Roll through again on a number 3 and then a number 4 setting (about 1/16 inch thick). Trim with tissue blade to a 2-1/2-inch square and set on top of piece of wax paper.
2. Lay photocopy ink side down on center of clay sheet. Burnish photocopy onto sheet of clay. Brush rubbing alcohol over back of photocopy to saturate paper. Burnish once again. Brush a second time with alcohol. While still saturated, peel paper off of clay surface carefully. The ink from the photocopy will now be on the surface of the clay. With craft knife, trim around the outside edge of the transfer.
3. Starting from the center and working to each edge, cut transfer lengthwise in 1/4-inch strips. Starting from the center again, working in both directions, cut transfer pattern crosswise to form 1/4-inch mosaic squares. If blade sticks to clay while cutting, powder blade lightly with cornstarch between cuts. When entire transfer is cut into 1/4-inch mosaic squares, carefully lift the piece of wax paper onto a flat baking tray, leaving the tiles in order. Bake tiles for 15 minutes at 265 F degrees. Allow to cool and set aside.
4. Condition black clay for the mosaic tile backing. Roll through pasta machine on a number 1 setting (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut a circle out of this sheet with the round cookie cutter.
5. With the pliers, bend head pin in half and cross ends to form a small loop. Twist ends together all the way down the head pin. Trim twisted section to about 1/4 inch. Put one drop of translucent liquid clay on the twisted part below the loop. Push the cut end of the twist into the narrow edge of the black clay disk from step 4. Only the loop should be sticking out, and it should be flat with the circle of clay (figure C). The loop indicates the top of the pendant.
6. Using your tissue blade, make a small indentation from the loop to the bottom of the circle to indicate the center of the pendant. Make a second indentation perpendicular to this line, running through the center of the pendant. This will give you a centering guide for laying the mosaic tiles.
7. Spread a thin coat of translucent liquid Sculpey over the black clay backing disk. Gently snap apart your baked transfer tiles down the center line. Take the two center tiles from each half of the transfer and align them with the intersecting lines you made on the base circle of clay. Leave a small amount of space between each tile (less than 1/16 inch). Work outwards until your edge tiles align with the edge of the black clay base, keeping the tiles in the order of the original transfer. When all tiles are in place, bake pendant for about 10 minutes at 265 F degrees and allow to cool. Trim tiles with craft knife at edge of pendant if necessary.
8. In a small glass dish, place about a teaspoon of translucent liquid clay. Add a small amount of the red russet mica powder and stir with skewer until this "grout" is completely mixed. If you wish to darken the grout color, add a little more mica powder and mix. With your finger, spread the grout over the entire transfer, careful to fill all the cracks between tiles and on the edge of the pendant (figure G). Wipe off excess clay on surface of transfer tiles with fingers. Place pendant in baking tray and bake at 265 F degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
9. To prepare memory wire for necklace: Use heavy-duty wire clippers to cut a 16-inch piece of wire. On one end, curl the wire into a tight loop. This finishes the sharp end of the wire, and allows you to string the beads. Use the pliers to attach the split ring through the pendant loop. Close split ring securely. Put 48 round black beads onto the wire. Slide the split ring on the pendant onto the wire. Put the remaining 48 black beads on the wire. With the pliers, carefully curl the end of the memory wire into a small loop to finish off the necklace.