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Polymer Clay Face-Bead Watch

After experimenting with several mediums, Lynne Manning discovered that polymer clay was the ideal medium for her. In this project, Lynne makes a watch with polymer clay face beads.

Project courtesy of Lynne Manning of Milton, Mass.

Materials and Tools:
blue, white, pink and black polymer clay
watch with watch attachments
15" elastic
20 large-hole 6mm beads, silver colored
super glue
pasta machine
acrylic roller
thin slicing tool
cardboard
clay-dedicated oven

Steps:

1. Condition your polymer clay by running it through the pasta machine about 20 times.

2. To make the face cane: Draw a face design in a 2- to 3-inch circle. Start making the eyes of the cane by rolling a black snake 2 inches long. Run some white clay through your pasta machine at the #1 setting. Wrap this around the black snake, making sure the ends meet. Smooth the seam. Do another wrap with the white clay. Make sure to smooth the ends again.

3. Run some black clay through the pasta machine at the #5 setting. Wrap this around the white clay, making sure the ends meet. The end of the cane will sort of look like a bullseye. Flatten this piece slightly lengthwise so that the ends look oblong.

4. Run some blue clay through the pasta machine at the #1 setting. Wrap the eye cane, making sure the ends meet cleanly and smooth. Repeat with another layer of blue. Cut the cane in half lengthwise along the flat side. You will end up with two eyes about 2 inches long.

5. Take the black clay that has been run through the pasta machine on the #5 setting and cut a piece to fit along the bottom of the eye to complete the outline.

6. Put the eyes together flat side down and continue to fill in the forehead area with blue clay. Continue to fill in the top until the top is rounded. Stand the eyes on end over your picture to see how much clay you need to add.

7. Make the lips by rolling a 2-inch-long snake of the red clay. Cut in half lengthwise. Take one piece and pinch the edges a little to make the shape of the bottom lip.

8. Cut a piece of the thin black clay and cover the flat edge. Take the second piece and reshape it into a snake that is 2 inches long. Cut in half lengthwise and put the pieces together flat side down. Pinch the outside edges together to create the shape of the top lip. Put this piece on top of the bottom lip and wrap the lips with the thin black clay to create an outline.

9. For the nose: Make a thin blue snake out of the blue clay, 2 inches long. Cut two pieces our of the thin black clay, 2 inches long and about 1/8 inch long. Lay this along the snake lengthwise.

10. Finish the face by standing the pieces on end over the drawing and filling in all the empty spaces with blue clay.

11. To make the face beads: Roll out the face cane until it is about 6 inches long. Cut off a 3-inch piece. Roll another piece of clay into a small snake 3 inches long. Cut this in half lengthwise, and then cut each of these pieces lengthwise again. You will end up with four pieces.

12. Add the small pieces to the face cane where the four corners should be to create a square cane. Smooth these pieces along the sides. Reduce this square cane until it is 1/2 inch wide along all four sides. Trim the ends.

13. Cut off a 1/4-inch bead from the end of the cane. Poke two holes through the bead, making sure the holes are big enough to fit the elastic through.

14. Bake the beads in your oven according to the package instructions. Manning bakes at 275 F degrees for 35 minutes.

15. To assemble the watch: Line up nine face beads along with the separator beads. Fold the elastic in half and run it through the holes in the watch attachment. Thread both ends of the elastic through all the beads and the through the second watch attachment. Tie the elastic and trim the ends. Put a little drop of super glue on the knot to make sure it holds.

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