Sunday, October 2, 2011

White and yellow flower beads

I made some yellow flower beads from Fimo polymer clay. First, I created a flower cane in the Millefiori technique. These are some of the basic steps: on the left, I assembled the petals and the white spacing slabs around the center. The petals are made of a stripy mixture of yellows and bronze. Some bead slices made from just the center cane are visible in the background in the two uppermost pictures. I then filled out the remaining outer space with the same white clay, to create a round white clay cylinder with the flower inside.

The flower pattern is then made smaller by rolling out the cylinder. On the upper right, I'm rolling out the cane with the tools I had available at the time - a plastic protractor and a flat-bottomed glass oven dish. Rolling the cylinder created a sort of interesting pentagonal shape at the ends, shown in the center photo. Lower right: when it was small enough, I cut the some thick slices from the cane.

Here are those slices, made into beads. First baked in the oven, then sanded and polished. That striped pattern didn't really survive the shrinking process, and the outer layer of white could have been more opaque or just thicker (the petals show through the sides). Also show are some irregularities due to clumsy cutting and primitive tools - there are special super-thin polymer clay knives which are much more suitable.

Then a necklace from the five finished beads. Using two sizes of white wooden bead and thick fabric-coated rubber cord. Left: planning a 42 cm necklace, which fits snugly but not tightly around the neck.

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