Blessed Bead Jewelry Explorations in Glass, Polymer, Gemstones and Metal
Monday, August 1, 2011
In search of opalescence
I have been on a polymer clay quest for the past month and a half now to see just what kinds of effects could be obtained using metal leaf and alcohol inks with polymer clay. I am also experimenting with embossing powders and acrylic iridescent medium. This has been a wild ride. The first batch of clay reminded me a lot of ocean waves and some very interesting jewelry resulted from the beads made from the first batch of clay. I worked in blues and greens, because I wanted to use the clay to make jewelry for my cousin and two of her daughters who all love blue.
The jewelry all came out differently and quite interesting. I experimented with using black clay, white clay and translucent as a background just to see how many different looks I could get. Once we got back from our trip, I still had a lot of clay left over and decided to try some more ideas. I had been wanting to do mixed media using metal stampings and polymer clay, so I got to work on some nice big open work flowers. I had been meaning to try a bracelet with some of these so I decided to curve the metal on a bracelet mandrel and backfill with some of the alcohol ink/silver leaf mix. I added iridescent embossing powder and iridescent acrylic medium and liquid polymer just for fun.
Next, I decided to backfill some brass pegasus charms that I had been anxious to make into some jewelry. This time I only added liquid polymer for a slightly less iridescent look. The blues and greens looked great against the brass.
My next idea was to use gold clay as the background and to be a little less happy with the alcohol ink, since some of my clay came out too dark and obliterated the silver leaf. I also switched to variegated green and gold leaf just for fun. This time I decided to backfill some stamped brass scarab beetles that were just begging to be a charm bracelet. I also covered the leaf and ink surface with a very thin layer of translucent polymer clay. The end result is a little reminiscent of mosaics and I believe it goes beautifully with the scarabs.