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Monday, 12 November 2012

Geometric Faceted Polymer Clay Beads




Its always the way, you get an idea in your head but despite looking wonderfully simple the process and technique is anything but!

I wanted to make geometric beads for a necklace,  so turning to one of my very first books for polymer clay How to make Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn, she has a easy, or so I thought tutorial for making geometric clay beads.

Now in Carols book her beads are perfectly geometric, but this technique is not as simple as it seems.  I just couldn't get them right, here is my initial process.

Polymer Clay Beads rolled into squares
Polymer Clay Beads rolled into squares

Polymer Clay Beads - I sliced away the side of the bead to make them more square with sharper edges
Polymer Clay Beads - I sliced away the side of the bead to make them more square with sharper edges

Slicing away - Creating geometric polymer clay beads
Slicing away - Creating geometric polymer clay beads

Now heres where it went wrong you need to slice away at the corners to make your geometric beads, needless to say I didn't get a picture of the disastrous final beads, they was just not a uniform shape and in my frustration I kept re rolling and trying again, which took me a good part of the day, I blame my non mathematical brain for this.

So I turned to google, searching for geometric or faceted beads and found two wonderful tutorials on faceted beads.

DIY Glittery Facted Beads by Hazel & Agnes
DIY Geometric Necklace by Alicia on Dismount Creative

So putting aside my need to conform and make the beads uniform I proceeded to try again.

 
Polymer clay beads shaped into squares
Polymer clay beads shaped into squares
Again I made my round beads into square shapes, however this time i did not cut away at the sides to make them with sharper edges.












Faceted polymer clay beads - slicing away at the edges
Faceted polymer clay beads - slicing away at the edges
 I proceed to cut away at the each edge once the edges where sliced my cuts became more random to create a faceted shape I was happy with.














A faceted polymer clay bead
A faceted polymer clay bead
Here is one of my finished faceted beads the shape is a lot more free form than a geometric bead.  A quick note don't get too slice happy with your blade, or you will end up with very small beads.
















My faceted polymer clay beads
My faceted polymer clay beads
My completed beads together are a lot more random in there shapes and no two are exactly the same.  Before piecing a hole through these beads I placed them in the freezer for 30 mins to chill this helps when piercing as it prevents you from distorting the overall bead shape.






Grey Faceted Polymer Clay Necklace
Grey Faceted Polymer Clay Necklace


And here is my finished necklace just as I had envisioned, I wanted a simple colour with one bright, bold round bead to compliment and stand out.  I used Titanium and Bright Chartreuse from Pantones Fall 2012 colours.


Grey Faceted Polymer Clay Necklace
Grey Faceted Polymer Clay Necklace

This post is part of Handmade Monday with Handmade Harbour

Resources
  1. DIY Glittery Facted Beads by Hazel & Agnes
  2.  DIY Geometric Necklace by Alicia on Dismount Creative