In January I traveled to the Creativation Trade show, in Phoenix, Arizona. Held by Association For Creative Industries or AFCI, during the show I was invited to the 6th annual Prime Networking Event. At this event, bloggers, designers, authors and brands in the craft industry came together to network, make new partnerships, and learn about new product information. The event was Educational, informative, had great food and drinks and free product samples provided by this year’s sponsors. After the event attendees were encouraged to try out and create art for the Favecrafts Best Blogger Craft Event.
One of the sponsors was Polyform Products, who supplied a wonderful kit including a Sculpey® Bead Making Kit and three half bricks of Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed.
The Souffle clay colors of the kit reminded me of the feathers of the Great Green Macaw. In particular the neck and chest feathers, in tones of green, black and fluffy white, that many Macaws can be seen preening while relaxing. This color inspiration helped me visualize a Boho necklace, faux leather in style, since Souffle Clay once baked in an oven has a matte finish, somewhat like leather.
Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed
Sculpey® Bead Making Kit
1 Coffee Straw
Metal Spacer Beads
Cone Tin Beads
Darice 100% Natural Hemp Cord, 20 lb. Assorted Brights
Cord Faux Suede Olive-Brown 3MM
Working with the Sculpey Soufflé I quickly learned it is softer than most polymer clay, requiring little to no conditioning. Using the cutting blade, included in the bead making kit, I cut each brick in half, saving half of each clay brick for the second part of the project. I rolled out each half brick of clay with a pasta machine (devoted to craft use only) set on the thickest setting.
Using the Skinner Blend technique, which creates beautiful gradients in clay, I blended two of each color of clay. Now having pieces of clay with blends of green with black, white with black, green with white, I cut out 14 feather shapes using the cutting blade. I didn’t need to use a template because I wanted the organic look of naturally fallen feathers. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each feather. To give detail to the clay feathers I used the needle tool, included in the bead making kit, to draw on the clay, not going too deep but just enough to get create lines as shown in the photo above.
I placed a paper towel on a ceramic tile and carefully put my detailed feather pieces on top. I bent and curved the feather to give them a more natural flow. I baked the clay feathers on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions.
To condition and roll out polymer clay easier I use a Pasta Machine I got at a kitchen supply store. It also happens to have two noodle cutting rollers, that normally I ignore when using for clay. However the Fettuccine noodle roller was about to become very handy for the next part in my project.
*The use of a pasta machine with noodle cutting rollers is not necessary if you rather cut each strip out by hand.
I rolled out the reserved half bricks of clay with the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Then I ran each portion of clay through the Fettuccine cutting roller, making sure to run the white, then green and black clay last to avoid color transfer of clay. Each strip of clay was easily textured with a tooth brush to emulate the appearance of leather. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each strip of clay.
I crumpled two paper towels into rolls and placed a third paper towel on top of a ceramic tile. I carefully placed my strips of clay on the paper towels. I baked the clay strips on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions. Sculpey Soufflé once baked is more flexible than traditional polymer clay allowing for long and/or large art pieces to be created, yet be still resistant to cracking and breaking.
I cut a 24 inch portion of Faux Suede Olive-Brown Cord to be the start of my necklace. I cut a 10 inch portion of green Natural Hemp Cord and attached it to the suede cord using a Lark’s head (Cow Hitch) knot.
I slid a metal bead onto the hemp cord and did a overhand knot at the end of the cord. I repeated this on the second portion of the cord.
I added an additional 10 inch hemp cord length to the suede using a Lark’s Head knot, adding metal beads and securing them with overhand knots. Adding another hemp cord length I slid metal bead further down the cord, towards the Lark’s head knot. I did an overhand knot, slid on a strip of baked polymer Souffle clay and secured it with a overhand knot. I repeated this process for all of the other cured clay pieces.
I slid on three Cone Tin Beads on each side of the suede and did a simple slide knot to finish the necklace.
I am now a huge fan of Sculpey Soufflé, with its flexibility and matte finish it allows this cascade of cord, clay and metal beads to be lightweight, durable and fashionable!
Until Next Time, Safe Travels!