Quick and Easy: Modern Polymer Clay Earrings

2 Mar 2012

Are you looking for a forgiving, easy to use, versatile, affordable medium to add to your jewelry-making repertoire? Let me introduce you to my friend, polymer clay. Surely you've heard about him, but do you realize what he can do for you?

Polymer clay is truly one of the most versatile jewelry-making products I've ever encountered. The product itself can be manipulated to look like anything--gemstones and rocks, wood and other natural elements, glass, even metal and human flesh--but it's so easily modeled and molded, polymer clay can become any shape or object you need it to be and takes texture like a dream. As more varieties of polymer clay become available--including realistic-looking metallics and faux stone, super lightweight or perpetually flexible clays, and even translucent clay--more artisan jewelers are discovering the beauty and creativity of this versatile product and making true gallery-quality jewelry using polymer clay. The industry is thriving with regular additions of new polymer clay tools, too, including findings that are created specifically for use with polymer clay. It's durable when it's cured and sealed, and it couldn't be more affordable. With a color palette that puts the Crayola big box of 64 to shame, there's simply nothing you can't make with polymer clay.

 
Just to get your feet wet with polymer clay, our friends at Polyform (they make Sculpey, premo!, and other polymer clays) have provided this exclusive introductory polymer clay earring project just for Jewelry Making Daily readers. You can customize it in any color scheme that you like. Enjoy!

Judy Jetson's Earrings
Designed by Patricia Kimle for Polyform Products.

Materials:  

3 to 5 colors of premo! Sculpey® polymer clay
Super Sculpey® clay blade
Sculpey® clay conditioning machine or Sculpey® acrylic roller
1 to 4 glass marbles or small smooth balls (oven safe, about 5/8")
2 headpins (2")
2 earring wires
2 to 3 colors Delica seed beads
toothpick, skewer, or scrap wire
dedicated oven for baking clay

Steps:

  1. Create a polymer clay bull's eye cane using two or more colors of clay: Roll several sheets of clay at various thicknesses and a short log of clay. Wrap the log with successive sheets of clay, trimming the edges and making the ends meet between each layer. (You can watch a video that shows how to make a bull's eye cane on Sculpey's website.)
2. Cut a slice off the final log about 1/16" thick. Press the slice over the marble/ball. Repeat for a total of 4 rounded pieces.

3. Using one of the colors of the cane, make 2 lentil-shaped beads. Pierce a hole vertically through the center.

4. Bake the polymer clay beads according to the package instructions in a dedicated toaster oven.

5. Assemble the components on the headpins in the following order: a few seed beads, a rounded polymer clay half facing up, 3 or 4 seed beads, the lentil-shaped polymer clay bead, 3 or 4 more seed beads, the other rounded polymer clay half facing down, and 3 or 4 final seed beads.

6. Form a loop at the top of the headpin and attach it to the earring wire. Repeat for the second earring. 

 
Whether you're brand new to polymer clay or have been making jewelry (or other fine creations) with it for years, you'll enjoy our new polymer clay jewelry book, Enlightened Polymer Clay. The author, Rie Nagumo, takes polymer clay jewelry designs to a whole new level, duplicating the look of gemstones, glass, enamel, and more. If you're not sold on polymer clay as art jewelry, this serene book filled with elegant polymer clay jewelry will surprise you.

P.S. Want more free polymer clay jewelry projects? Check out Sculpey's Mashed Up Hearts polymer clay brooch/pin (or pendant?) project on our sister site, Beading Daily, and then visit Sculpey.com for dozens more! 


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