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Polymer Clay Polka Dot Cuff Bracelet

Learn how to craft a polymer clay bracelet for yourself or a friend.

Project designed and demonstrated by Donna Kato.

Materials and Tools:

Kato Polyclay: 2 oz. gold, red; 4 oz black
acrylic rod
circle cutter
gridded plastic to make templates
blunt-nosed knitting needle
14-gauge wire
wire cutter
pliers
150-grit sanding block
Metalliferous - NYC metal cuff

Note: All polymer clay must be conditioned prior to use.

To condition polymer clay: Cut the block into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Using acrylic rod, thin each slice so that they are just a bit thicker than the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Roll a slice through the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Reset the pasta machine, skipping one setting to the third-thickest setting, and roll through. Finish by folding and rolling clay through until clay is soft and pliable.

Steps:

1. Cut plastic template to fit the cuff dimensions. Measure the width of the cuff at the opening, subtract 1/2 inch from the width dimension, and cut a strip of whatever the difference is. In other words, if your bracelet measures 1-1/2 inch at the opening, you would subtract 1/2 inch and cut a strip that is 1 inch wide. This strip should be the same length as the bracelet template.

2. Roll a sheet of conditioned black clay through the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Place the strip on the clay and drag blunt knitting needle through clay along the top and bottom of the strip. The channels you make should be deep enough to completely submerge the 14-gauge wire. Remove the plastic strip.

3. Center and place the bracelet template on the channels. Cut around with Nublade.

4. Place the clay on the metal cuff. Press clay onto the form; you don't want it to loosen and fall off.

5. Bake at 275 F degrees for 1 hour.

6. Place wires in channels and use pliers to tighten at both ends of wires.

To make the decorative sheet:

1. Roll conditioned gold clay through the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Roll a very thin sheet of red clay.

2. Cut circles from red sheet and arrange on gold sheet. Roll to smooth red dots into gold sheet. Roll in all directions so that the dots spread evenly.

3. Place the bracelet template on the dotted sheet. Using the template as a reference, rough cut the dotted sheet, making it 1/2 inch longer on each end and slightly wider at the ends. The center width remains the same.

4. Place the dotted sheet onto the wired black clay. Press any air pockets out. Using Nublade, trim away any excess clay.

5. Return the piece to the oven for 30 minutes at 275 F degrees.

6. Allow cured piece to cool completely; then cut wires with cutter. Remove the metal cut. Using 150-grit sanding block, sand the edge all the way around the bracelet.

7. Condition a small amount of black clay. Roll a thin snake and lay it on the sanded edge. With fingers, work raw black clay around to cover the bracelet edge.

8. Return piece to the oven for 30 minutes at 175 F degrees.

9. If necessary, sand the edging with the block again.

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