How to Make a Ceramic and Stone Necklace

Design and glaze a ceramic charm necklace embellished with hanging Peruvian opals stones.

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Materials and Tools:

white ceramic clay
canvas board*
rolling pin
2, 3/8" x 2' wood spacers
clay tools: wood stick, pin tool, knife
cup of water
electric kiln
glaze
paintbrush
silver enamel paint
heavy medium cable sterling silver chain
2" wide cable chain
lobster clasp
jump rings
2" head pins
20-gauge sterling silver wire
top drilled Peruvian opal stones
Swarovski crystals
round nose pliers
flat nose pliers
wire cutters
paper pattern

*Staple canvas over a piece of plywood to make a canvas board.

Steps:

Make the pendant 

1. Draw desired design for the clay pendant on paper and make a pattern.

2. With the rolling pin, roll out a piece of clay between 3/8-inch spacers on the canvas board. The spacers serve as a guide for thickness.

3. Let slab dry to soft leather hard stage. Place paper pattern on clay and cut out pattern using the pin tool. Smooth out the edges with your fingers.

4. Make three holes at the bottom of the clay piece with the pin tool. This is where the chain and stones will hang. Make a hole through the top of the piece to insert the wire to connect the chain to the pendant.

5. Form impressions into the clay piece with a wood stick.

6. Soften the edges by dipping a finger into water and smoothing out the edges. Do not cover up holes made by pin tool.

7. Let dry completely to bone dry stage. Fire in kiln to the bisque stage.

8. Paint sides and front of pendant with a commercial glaze and fire again in the kiln.

Attach pendant to chain

1.  Cut two 7-1/2 inch (or desired length) lengths of heavy cable medium chain with wire cutters.

2. Cut 6-inch sterling silver wire with wire cutters.

3. Position jaws 1 inch down from the top of the wire with round-nose pliers.

4. Bring the wire over the top of the pliers, forming a loop.

5. Insert a 7-1/2-inch (or desired length) piece of heavy medium cable chain inside the loop.

6. Keep the jaws vertical and reposition the pliers' lower jaw snugly in the loop. Wrap the wire down and around the bottom of the pliers. This is the first half of the loop.

7. Position pliers' jaws across the top of the loop with flat-nose pliers.

8. Wrap the wire around the wire stem, covering the stem between the loop. Trim excess wire with wire cutters and press the cut end close to the wraps with the flat nose pliers.

9. Insert loop with attached chain inside the top of the pendant.

10. Repeat steps 3 to 7. Make sure the loop is created close to the clay pendant.

11. Attach a lobster clasp to one end of the chain.

12. Attach a jump ring to the 2-inch wide cable chain and then to the other 7-1/2 inch cable chain.

13. Using one head pin, place two Swarovski crystals and then attach headpin to end of 2 inch wide cable chain using steps 3 to 7.

Attach stones

1. Cut three 6-inch sterling silver wire pieces.

2. Cut two 3/4 inch to 1 inch (depending on desired length) pieces of heavy medium cable chain.

3. Cut one 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch length of heavy medium cable chain.

4. Center a top-drilled Peruvian opal stone on a 2-inch head pin. Bend each wire upward to form a squared off "u" shape.

5. Cross the wires into an "x" above the bead.

6. Make a small bend in each wire with flat-nose pliers so that the ends form a right angle. Wrap the horizontal wire around the vertical wire in a wrapped loop. Trim the wrapping wire.

7. To attach 1-inch chain to stone, follow steps 3 to 7 (attaching chain to pendant section).

8. With the chain attached to the stone, insert 6-inch wire in one of the bottom holes on the clay pendant.

9. Follow steps 3 to 7 (attaching chain to pendant section).

10. Repeat steps 4 to 9 to attach remaining two stones.

11. Enhance impressions made in clay pendant with silver enamel paint.

Krista Lynn, New Jersey
Website: www.theartspa.com

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