Artichoke Necklace

Teresa Buoch demonstrates her process for making this faux artichoke necklace.

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Materials and Tools:

mixing bowl
cooking spray and plastic wrap or wax paper
small paint spatula for mixing
paper towels
Temp-Plus Liquid and Temp-Plus acrylic powder*
small hobby drill
sanding wheel bit
flat head saw mandrel
rubber abrasive polishing wheel
protective glasses
jewelry glue
2 sterling mounts
paint palette, small round brush, small flat brush
acrylic clear coat
acrylic paint, medium green, yellow, white, dark green, brown
jewelry pliers
cutters
crimp beads, stringing wire, lobster catch, selected gemstones
toothpicks
*Guest attained Temp-Plus acrylic products from her dentist.

Steps:

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1. Pour a small amount of acrylic powder (Temp-Plus) into a small mixing bowl and begin adding the liquid (Temp-Plus) a little at a time until it reaches the consistency of thick batter.

2. Spray a piece of wax paper with cooking spray. Spray your hands with cooking spray. Pour the mixed acrylic onto the wax paper. Working quickly, shape it into a rounded tree-like object for the artichoke shape. Score outlines of the individual leaves into the face for a guideline. Let it set overnight or at least 6 hours.

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3. Wearing protective glasses use a hobby drill fitted with a round sanding mandrel and shape the artichoke and sand it smooth.

4. Switch to a flat head saw and carve all of the leaves into the artichoke.

5. Change the bit to the rubber wheel polisher to knock off any of the stubborn particles.

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6. Apply jewelry glue with a toothpick to the back of the artichoke and glue two sterling 3-hole findings to the underside of the artichoke. Let dry.

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7. Mix a very small amount of the acrylic mixture (step 1) making it a little thinner. Apply a thin coat over the entire back of the artichoke with a small palette knife paying special attention around the silver mounts. Coat it again. Let it dry for an hour or so.

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8. Base-coat the entire artichoke with medium light green acrylic paint.

9. Mix the white and yellow paint together with the medium green acrylic paint to add highlights to the grooves between each leaf.

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10. Apply a dark green paint at the bottom of each of the leaves and blend up. Shade the tips of the leaves with rich brown paint. Let the painting cure for a couple of hours.

11. Coat the artichoke with acrylic clear coat. Let it sit overnight to cure.

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12. Pre-select the gemstones. Put a crimp bead on the end of a stringing wire. Close it using jewelry pliers to one of the loops in one of the 3-hole findings.

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13. String the beads from the centerpiece out to the ends.

14. Crimp the end onto the lobster claw clasp.

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15. String five more beaded wires, attaching each string to one of the holes in the remaining findings. There will be three strings on each side of the artichoke. Attach three strings to the ends of each side of the lobster clasp.

Teresa Buoch has always loved and worn unusual jewelry. Years ago, when she was working with a women's catalog that included jewelry, she started making her own pieces to wear. Before long she found that more and more she would wear a piece and wind up selling it right off her neck. Now she calls her studio "the playroom" and has friends come over to pick their own stones so she can create a custom piece for them.

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