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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Faux Lampwork Glass Beads with Liquid Polymer Clay

As some may know before discovering polymer clay, I was very keen to try glass lampworking,  alas in my tiny apartment it was not to be and so I discovered polymer clay in my quest for making beads.

Well it is possible to imitate lampwork glass beads using liquid polymer clay, if you search the internet you may find tutorials and projects limited for this technique and having tried it once before myself and failed I can see why, its very tricky and fiddly though the clayers that have perfected this technique the results are amazing.

I am going to use a project from my book Polymer Pizzazz by Bead & Button.  The project is Grapevine Beads by Carly Seibel and uses translucent liquid clay with oil paints, its also worth noting that this method uses a different technique in that the oven is used rather than a heat gun.

For this project I'm not going to be doing the grapevine as specifed in the project I'm going to try some poppies instead.

Translucent Liquid Polymer Clay TLS
Translucent Liquid Polymer Clay TLS

Its important to mix only a small amount of liquid clay with a fair amount of liquid clay in the desired colours you will be using, as I am going to be doing a poppy design for me this will be red, black and two shades of green.

My acrylic painted background sheet on polymer clay
My acrylic painted background sheet on polymer clay

My background sheet used to cover my bead bases was painted and decorated using Lumiere acrylic paints.

My polymer clay beads bases are wrapped in my background sheet
My polymer clay beads bases are wrapped in my background sheet

Once dry i covered my bead bases and shaped them into the bead shape I wanted to use, in this case ovals they are cooked for the time recommended for the clay you are using.

My polymer clay beads are painted with the TLS & oil paint mix
My polymer clay beads are painted with the TLS & oil paint mix

Once the beads are cooled they are ready to be decorated with your liquid clay and oil paint mix, here is my decorated beads almost complete

And here are my final finished beads the two smaller beads did'nt quite turn out right and the flowers where too close together.

My faux lampwork beads with polymer clay
My faux lampwork beads with polymer clay

My finished larger focal bead, its worth pointing out here that once you add the varnish to the beads it really does add to the appearance, also my photos have been lightened considerably to show you the effect, the beads are actually quite dark.

My faux lampwork focal bead with polymer clay
My faux lampwork focal bead with polymer clay

This is a great technique for achieving the faux glass lampwork appearance with polymer clay though possibly more suited to an advanced clayer and those who are familiar with liquid clay.  Personally I feel the beads came out too dark, this I believe is to do with the black background I used, with better planning of colours and a white background the end results could be quite different.
If you would like to learn this technique with the full detailed tutorial instructions please refer to my resource list below, I would highly recommend this technique as its a great one to learn and once you do and have the time you could really plan to create some amazing beads.

I have a couple tips if you are going to try this project.
  • Make sure you use the smallest amount of oil paint to liquid clay as it will only cause problems when cooking and not dry properly.  The balance is very important as I found out with my lighter shade of green.
  • I would highly recommended when taking on this project you make sure you are undisturbed, get rid of the kids and any other disturbances that will distract you from this project it is time consuming and requires your full attention as I unfortunately found out when I had to start preparing dinner.


This post is part of Handmade Monday with Handmade Harbour Pop on over to see more great handmade blogs

Sunday Reflections

 Reflections of Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, Thailand. 

Source: facebook.com via Clare on Pinterest

Friday, 21 September 2012

Beautiful Blogger Award

Last night I found out I've been nominated for The Beautiful Blogger Award by Knitnrun4sanity.  Its the first time I've ever heard of this award and I'm delighted to be nominated.  Its great to know that people are enjoying my blog and especially so when they are not clayers themselves as it means I'm achieving a goal in introducing polymer clay to a wider audience.

Thank you to Knitnrun4sanity for nominating me, Knitnrun4sanity is a keen knitter, loves to crochet and run, though I don't quite think at the same time.  A stay at home mother of 3 she likes to blog all about her gorgeous knitting and crochet projects with some everyday posts in between including one of my favourite topics running.

So I can now officially and proudly display my Beautiful Blogger Award

In order to accept my award I must now nominate 7 blogs that I myself enjoy and whom I think deserves to also be awarded with the title of The Beautiful Blogger.  I am pretty new to blogging but have slowly been building up my blog reading list, so heres my favourite bloggers in no particular order, why not pop on over for a peek at there fabulous work.

  1. Free Spirit Designs I was recently introduced to this blog through CraftFest and her craft work is absolutely gorgeous .
  2. Claireabellemakes Has a fabulous blog all about her DIY craft makes and bakes.
  3. Handbags by Helen Blogs all about her wonderful handmade bags, I dare not show my mum for fear I may never get her off my computer.
  4.  Skulls and Ponies A creative bloggger and lover of sewing, knitting and general makes, including some great posts on being an introvert as a crafter.
  5. Gris Bleu One of the very first blogs that introduced me to the art of polymer clay, Gris Bleu work with clay is truly amazing and I could only ever wish to achieve her level of skill.
  6. DivineChoice Creastions A fellow blogger from the CBUK crowd she writes a wonderful blog all about her adventures crafting.
  7. Cristalline Another polymer clayer whose work has been another inspiration, especially for her fantastic milefiori caning work.

And now its time to write 7 things about me hmm let me think...

  1. I spent most my life wanting to be a fashion designer, so I guess I've not strayed too far from the path.
  2. I am an on-line gamer and can be found battling for life in instances (aka dungeons)
  3. I am a bit of a geek, see above and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I'm not sorry :)
  4. I love to cross stitch (time permitting) in particular Mirabella's beautiful cross stitch designs
  5. I can be quite shy when meeting new people
  6. I've developed quite a big Irregular Choice shoe fetish, how can you not?
  7. I originally wanted to take up glass lampworking, but as i live in a flat it was impossible so took up polymer clay and I'm so glad I did.
There it is and a big thank you to Knitsnrun4sanity.