Up until now I haven’t really made any polymer clay beads, but next month I am attending the Polymania 2016 workshop in Bristol, where I am taking part in a bead swap. And for this I had to make 55 beads. More than a year ago I bought the “Organic Beads” tutorial by Ginger Davis Allman from The Blue Bottle Tree – and finally I had an occasion to make my own version of organic beads.
I won’t go too much into detail in how I made these, because if you want to make your own beads you really should buy her tutorial. It’s very well written and very detailed. You don’t always get as much information and as many photos in a tutorial as in this one – so you really get your money’s worth. What’s more, Ginger is also very quick in responding to questions. I actually had a question regarding the varnish I am using.
In a nutshell making these beads requires creating your own texture sheets – which she gives plenty of examples for what items you can use to make them – and different types of media – chalk pastels, alcohol inks, Mica powders, Inka Gold or Gilder’s Paste.
I have to say I had a lot of fun making these beads – though it’s a very messy business working with chalk pastels! I wanted to use a variety of colours which required me to scrape a lot of pastels into powder. For most of these beads I used the chalk pastels – and they work really well. Especially nice are the beads where I used the pearl clay – it gives them a nice pearly shimmer. I haven’t tried Mica powders, which would also work well and should give beads also a shimmer.
I also tried alcohol inks but found they don’t work so well, maybe it’s because I didn’t dilute them. My final two batches are black beads with Inka Gold. I really like these because of their pretty metallic shimmer.
I am thinking of making more beads and sell them in small batches in the shop.
And I am also still on the hunt for things I can use for new texturing sheets. Next time I will try my hand at making faux sea glass – for which I have another one of Ginger’s tutorials. But until then I am now in the middle of sculpting sheep!
Anyway – I hope you like these beads. Let me know what you think below – and as always thanks for reading.