Exploring the Essence of Being Creative
When I was growing up my favorite color was green. When I was six or seven, my parents drove us down to North Caroline to pick out bedroom furniture from the outlet furniture stores. I picked an entire bedroom set in deep green. But somewhere along the way, a switch flipped and I suddenly became a big fan of the color pink. Now, I’m not talking about sugary light pink. No, I prefer the vibrant, bright, and loud pinks. So for my second set of beads, I had my heart set on using the hot pink Sculpey clay to make something, anything.
Once I was equipped with my freshly delivered Roma pasta rolling machine, I decided I would try to make the simplest polymer clay cane: the Bullseye Lace Cane. I referenced the tutorial from Desiree’s Desired Creations webpage (one of the most helpful polymer clay sites out there).
A bullseye lace pattern is started with a solid color cylinder wrapped in a thin layer of a second color. I tried to be a little fancy and do three colors, my main color was hot pink with a thin layer of silver and an outer layer of black. I reduced the pink, silver, and black cylinder accordingly until I achieved a lace pattern that I was happy with (clay canes to the left). Surreptitiously, I saved a section of cane that only went through one stage of reduction, which created a tie dye or reptilian scale effect that I liked (beads to the right).
Once I was satisfied with the lace pattern, I cut up the lace cane into thin slices shown below.
I used the scrap clay from the cane reduction process to form a base for the bead. I covered the base beads with the slices and then hand rolled the balls until they were relatively smooth and spherical. Below is the batch of beads from my hot pink and black lace cane. You can see in the bottom right hand corer that I have some left over cane that I can save for on a rainy day.
Next I baked the beads in the polymer clay dedicated toaster oven that I bought from Target. Per Desiree’s reference page, the folded index card method worked well for holding my beads during the curing process. I also encapsulated the beads in aluminum foil to 1) prevent the top of the beads from burning, since the distance between the heating element and the top baking rack is pretty close and to 2) more evenly cook the beads since cheap toaster ovens are famous for inconsistent heat flux.
You can see in the front of the picture, I created a pair of studs that I plan to coat in resin and attach to earring posts. I am waiting for the weather to warm a little before I try the Ice Resin that I bought last November, since I will need to ventilate the work space quite well by having all the windows open.
This particular cane produced several sets of beads, which have been incorporated into my necklace designs that are currently listed in my Etsy store. Thank you for stopping by. If you like what you see please visit my Etsy shop and consider taking home a one of a kind necklace (you can even use the promocode: ILIKEWHATISEE to save 15% off the list price!). Cheers! Till next time.