Polymer-Clay Collage Pendant

Create a vibrant piece of jewelry with a unique blend of polymer-clay colors in this project. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.
hclvr358_4-Collage_Pendant_1

hclvr358_4-Collage_Pendant_1

Materials Needed:

  • polymer clay in 10 to 12 complementary colors
  • black or scrap polymer clay for the core of the bead
  • cutting blade
  • acrylic roller
  • pasta maker
  • knitting needle
  • 400- and 600-grit automotive wet-dry sandpaper
  • typing paper
  • cord and closure
  • instant glue
  • oven
  • flat weights
  • circle cookie cutter
  • baking sheet
  • buffing wheel (optional)

Steps:

1. Run each color of clay through the pasta maker on the thickest setting a few times. You don’t need to fully condition the clay, because it will become conditioned by the blending process.

2. Cut each color into 1/2" x 3" strips. Make stacks of about 10 different-colored strips each (unless you want more of one color to show), arranged in pleasing blends. Stack the strips at an angle, overlapping them slightly.

3. Use an acrylic roller to roll the stack gently just to hold the strips together.

hclvr358_4a-stack_clay_strips

hclvr358_4a-stack_clay_strips

4. Put the stack through the pasta maker and then fold it in half, from bottom to the top, and put the stack through again. Keep folding and putting the stack through the pasta maker the same way until the desired result is achieved, about 20 times.

5. Thin the clay stack down to the No. 5 setting on the pasta maker.

hclvr358_4c-run_clay_pasta_machine

hclvr358_4c-run_clay_pasta_machine

6. Sandwich the clay stack between a few sheets of clean typing paper and place a weight on the top sheet of paper. Let it sit for a day or two to leach out the oils so it will crack when making the bead.

7. Make two more blends and leach them if you want the colors to crack.

8. Run a sheet of black clay through the pasta maker on the thickest setting, for the background.

9. Cut triangles from the blends with a cutting blade, and lay them on the background sheet collage-style, covering the entire sheet.

hclvr358_4g-triangles

hclvr358_4g-triangles

10. Roll the sheet through the pasta maker two or three times, thinning it and turning it 1/4 inch each time.

11. Condition a piece of clay for the core of the bead. Cut out a circle with a circle cookie cutter. Roll the core clay into a log.

12. Cover the log with a section of the collage sheet. Cut away the excess clay and smooth the seam with your fingers or a knitting needle. Shape the ends of the bead into a soft point.

13. Shape the collage pendant bead so that it has a few curves.

hclvr358_4i-cover_log

hclvr358_4i-cover_log

14. Use a needle tool to make a hole in the top large enough for the pendant cord to fit through.

15. Slightly flatten the pendant bead by pressing a piece of acrylic over it. Place it on a baking sheet and bake it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Let cool.

hclvr358_4l-flatten_bead

hclvr358_4l-flatten_bead

16. Sand the pendant with 400-grit wet-dry sandpaper, followed by 600-grit, and then buff it with a buffing wheel or a soft cloth.

17. Insert the cord through the hole and attach the closure to the pendant.

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