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Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Perils of Bangles

I have only ever made two polymer clay bangles both very thick and chunky of which I was very pleased with the results and the floral ghost cane bangle is regularly adorned on my wrists.

Well whilst I was catching up on my RSS feeds & Flickr I came across Di's Bangles, she was having problems with her bangles breaking and was asking for tips on how to stop this, of which a few ideas can be found here and I must say her second set are lovely.

But it got me thinking I always presumed bangles would be easy, I even thought you could possibly form them round memory wire or insert it in some way, now this was one of those theory's where in your head it works brilliantly but in reality it just wasn't going to happen and so the perils of bangle making for me begun.

Firstly i just rolled scrap clay sausage like, but i couldn't get it even and the same thickness all the way across, on a couple of occasions that I did, I lost its shape on forming it round my can for cooking and securing the joins to the bangle only caused more distortion.  So I decided to try extruding the clay.  I extruded three rolls of clay using three different shapes, formed and secured the joins around a can for cooking.  The flat and semi circle bangles came out good, the round bangle did have some slight cracks in places, unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the round bangle showing the cracks.

Extruded shapes used for my bangles
Now I had no real plans for the bangles so decided to experiment and use up some canes I have had stashed away for a while now.  I decided to add a layer of black to the inside of the semi circle and flat form bangles as shown below, I used a thickness of 3 on my pasta machine but I think in future it would have to be thinner as I have small wrists myself and they just slipped onto my wrist, a 5 or 6 thickness would be a more suitable size for an average I feel.

Trimming the black inner lining of the flat extruded bangle

Flat extruded bangle with black clay inner lining to be trimmed

Inner lining to be trimmed for the extruded semi circle bracelet

Here are my finished experimental bangles, of which I am not keen on, due mostly to and this is my second peril of bangles the finish, I just seem to struggle with the finish, it could be that I had no real definite plan for them or that more time should have been given to each one.

Decorated extruded bangles

Round extruded bangle
Another example of theory not quite working, this bangle was decorated with a sheet covered in my abalone cane, this is the bangle i am most unhappy with i struggled with the finish on this bracelet, on wrapping the sheet around the bangle and then making the joins neat, this i feel could be where i would need the most practice.

Semi circle extruded bracelet
This bangle was created with micro fine powders, I do like this one and although not perfect I now know where I went wrong.  On this style the black inner lining should have been placed after the the outer decoration as the edges where not of a smooth finish.

Flat extruded bangle
Decorated using one of my favourite kaleidoscope floral canes, unfortunately I have not done it justice, again the edges are not neat and needs more attention and work.

Still not to be deterred I will carry on and practice, Ketztx4me's on Flickr has some fantastic bangles and this will serve as inspiration to getting mine right.

My first successful bangles, a reminder that when time is given to each piece you can achieve wonderful results.

My Floral Scene Cuff Bracelet a reminder that when I take my time what can be achieved

My Floral Ghost Cane Chunky Bangle