Feb 25, 2011

Pearly Sea Scrolls Necklace - My First Attempt at Polymer Clay Beads

First Beads made with First Polymer Cane

I am speachless!  Seriously, I had no idea polymer clay could be sanded and polished.  I was always turned off by the matte finish, the imperfections, the "dollar store" look of anything I had dabbled in.  I made pen covers with the kids that were fun as a craft.  No idea that it wasn't done and the finishing would bring the piece to life.

I'd seen shiny polymer pieces, cute little mini food, cupcakes, fruits, but thought they were just dipped in clear polish.  I even saw tutorials on what gloss to dip them in and about air bubbles, etc.  I wasn't interested.

I am shocked and super excited!  I am experienced with polishing silver jewelry settings and know how to be maticulous and patient and get high shine results in my metal jewelry.  I had a pre-concieved notion that if I sanded polymer clay, it would be scratched, like sand paper on a formica counter or a scratch in plexiglass.

I am so eager to show off my first polymer pieces made from my first ever cane!  As I sanded the pieces, I felt the smoothness right away, but also saw the dull, powdery look and wasn't sold yet that this would be what I wanted.  I went from 400 grit to 600 grit to 1200 grit to 2000 grit.  Very smooth feel to the pieces, but not pretty looking.

Then it happened!  I plugged in my rotary tool and started to buff.  Voila!  Each piece became so shiny as if it was wet!  Wow!  I love it!  I also see where my sanding wasn't complete and my forming of the piece in the smushy clay stages shows my inexperience with blending seams.  But, I've polished rocks in my tumbler in the past and the natural imperfections looked just the same after polishing, like creases and crevices in rock.  Rock tumbling takes 4 weeks to polish, and I only spent about an hour on the clay beads!

Pearly Sea Scrolls Necklace by York Avenue Studio
Here is my creation with my new shiny polymer clay beads!  I really love the white swirls outlined in black.  The navy blue and brown swirls show better in person.  This design idea would look great with a nice navy suit and white blouse!  Black suit, brown suit, gray........

Pearly Sea Scrolls Necklace by York Avenue Studio

In my design I've added silver spacers around the pendant hole and at the top and bottom of the cylinder beads.  The bail is wire wrapped and hooks from back to front with a button half drilled pearl as a stopper.  I used freshwater pearls to string the necklace.  I really like the little connector that the pendant hangs from.  I stamped the back with my new logo stamp from the Charm Factory!

Pearly Sea Scrolls Necklace by York Avenue Studio

All this time these parts and supplies were just sitting in my craft boxes and just a bit of inspiration from my blogging friends, I was able to make a beautiful necklace for myself at no cost!  Amazing!

Hope you like my first challenge with polymer clay.  I'd love to hear your comments!


  1. Looks great, I love black and white.

  2. Great job with the polymer! I sand all my pieces and buff polish. Over time, they will take on a nice natural patina from your skin oils and stay shiny. My customers love that effect!

  3. Great job! They look fab with those pearls!

  4. Kathy what a great job you did! I am just starting to learn how to make canes too! Thanks for all the great tips. Oh one more thing... I just got my DaVoria Jewelry stamp from charm factory. It's incredible!