As a kid growing up in the hills of Missouri I loved sea shells. They made me think of the ocean and all the stories of the sea I'd read as a kid. We moved to Miami Florida when I was a teenager and I was able to do many of the great things that kids who lived near the ocean did in the late 50's and early 60's.
One of my favorites was going to the beach! I collected shells, fed the seagulls, swam in the ocean and hung out with my friends. South Beach was our favorite beach and many a weekend was spent laughing, swimming, laying on big towels and dreaming about our futures. When evening came we sometimes had bongo parties. Actually my life in Miami was about as close as you could get to an Annette Funicello movie.
Selecting the sea shells needed for the mold took me back in time and made me smile at the memories of sand, sun and ocean.
Above left is a bejeweled shell pendant. Instructions to make the pendant/pin are included with the mold. The instructions are printed in black and white. I'm hoping that the color steps are helpful to both the buyers of the mold and to others who may enjoy seeing the steps as the technique can be used for any project.
To the right: Skinner blend=
Select colors, cut diagonally, stack the triangles and press together. Put the sheet through the pasta machine with all colors touching the rollers, fold and repeat until the desired blend is accomplished.
Left: Completed Skinner blend. I was a bit disappointed that the gold color was not as strong and I'd thought it would be. Ah, well, live and learn.
Right: Roll the blend as shown then change the rolled blend into a squared off loaf ready to press into the mold.
Left: Remove excess clay.
Nudge any extra clay back into the mold,
Flex and demold a cool shell.
Roll or extrude tiny ropes of metallic gold, tan or creme colored clay. Begin the loops on the end before placing the ropes on to the clay shell.
Start with one rope. Taper both ends for a soft "S" curve.
Add a tendril to one side.
Add more and more until your design is as 'flowing' as you like.
I curled the last tendril around the tip as shown, just for fun.
When satisfied with the rope coil layout, add iron on jewels to the junctions.
This covers the joins beautifully.
Dust the body of the shell with micropearl mica powder.
Carefully pat gold mica powder onto the rope coils.
I like to make what I call "Clay Sparkles" tiny dots of gold clay.
Cut tiny bits from a thin rope of tan/ivory clay. Roll them into teeny balls.
Before opening a jar of gold mica powder, shake it gently. Remove the lid and set the lid, open side up on a work surface.
Drop the teeny balls into the lid. Swirl them around to pick up the mica powder.
|Baked shell and sheet of metallic gold clay.|
Wet the tip of a Peej Pick or tooth pick and gently touch the balls. Lift them out and set them on a smooth surface like a ceramic tile and gently roll them on the tile with your finger. This seals the mica powder into the surface making very shiny tiny balls.
Because the shell has been covered with pearl powder they won't stick to the sea shell so put a tiny bit of liquid clay on the shell and put the 'sparkles' onto the liquid clay using the point of a Peej Pick or a tooth pick that has been dampened.
Bake. Allow to cool.
Make a sheet of metallic gold clay on the next to thickest setting.
Put liquid clay on the back of the baked shell and press the sheet of gold clay firmly to the back of the shell.
Using your exacto or craft knife, cut around the shell about the distance of 1/8" as shown below.
Remove excess clay and smooth the edge with your finger tip to 'soften' the edge.
Using the same gold color mica powder, dust the unbaked clay edges as shown.
Adding the pin back:
Shown is a pin back that doubles as a pendant loop.
Cut a medium thick sheet of metallic gold, tan or cream clay and cut a strip the width of the pin back. (on mine, I cut a slot for the pendant loop).
Dampen the back of the piece with liquid polymer clay.
Smooth the edges of the pin back onto the back of the pin and smooth the edges.If desired, use a texture sheet to texture the back of the pin/pendant as shown.
Dust the raised area using the same gold colored mica powder.
Place the finished piece on a bed of Fiber-Fil. Below right. Bake, add a chain if desired and wear.
|Ready for the final baking.|
Now I'm thinking a pair of pretty bejeweled earrings might be just the thing!
Finished bejeweled sea shell. Note the brilliant gold color created using mica powder. The shell is laying in a bed of Fiber-fil batting. It will hold the shell while it bakes.
This project was created using the large center shell in the PJ047 Conical Sea Shell urethane rubber push mold.
This mold is available now at Best Flexible molds.
by Penni Jo Couch