New polymer clay earrings

With both sets of my polymer clay earring components created in Julie Picarello’s workshop – the round discs and the long “lizard tails” – I drilled a small center hole approximately 1/8″ from the top of each piece. That is where the similarity in the embellishment process ends.

Using gold-filled wire threaded through the drilled hole, I made a wrapped “hanger” for each of the round discs and then attached a handmade gold-filled ear wire. I then created some crystal bead dangles using the same gold-filled wire and attached them to each ear wire with a small jumpring.

Using Silamide thread (my favorite for beading) and size 15 seed beads, I used the drilled hole to secure a ring of beads around the top of each “tail”. From that base ring, I worked peyote stitch first up around the top of the piece and then on the bottom of the ring, decreasing when needed to form fit the beads around the “tail”. I added a small pearl for embellishment and then a loop at the top so that the pieces could hang comfortably from ear wires.

Next up…..the pendants…

What I created in Julie Picarello’s workshop

To inspire my color palette that day, I purposefully wore my Come Spring vest to the first day of Julie’s workshop. You can read my post about knitting that vest here.

When presented with a choice of metal foil to add to my mokume stack, I chose gold because these cool colors have an underlying warm tone to them.

I created 2 pendants and 2 pairs of earring components from my stack. Instead of adding metal embellishments to the components to create jewelry as Julie does, I want to put my own artistic mark on my creations with some seed beadwork.

The “river’ running through the middle of my pendant will have flowing seed beads. You can see from my photo that I’ve started to drill small holes in the “river” so I can couch the strands of flowing beads. As I was working out this idea, I got another one about a beach scene done with half polyclay and half seed bead embroidery!

Coming up soon…how I turned these components into jewelry…

Julie Picarello Workshop

This post is long overdue! In March,  I had the wonderful opportunity to take a workshop with the talented polymer clay artist, Julie Picarello. Here is one of her fabulous creations destined to adorn some lucky person.

More of her amazing work to inspire and delight!

Julie has explored and perfected her own faux mokume gane technique using layers of colored clay, metal leaf and all sorts of nifty texture tools. From this layered and textured clay, she creates colorful, unique jewelry pieces.

Color inspiration can come from many sources.

A yummy color palette.

The first thing that struck me about Julie upon first meeting her is her warm smile and twinkling eyes. In a new place and new experience, she made me feel very welcome and right at home. She is kind, generous and very patient, perfect qualities for a teacher to possess, allowing your students to relax and open up to the creative process.

Besides learning a new approach to one of my favorite polymer clay techniques, this fun workshop also taught me to open up to new color inspiration and that you can find fabulous texture tools just about anywhere.

Soon I’ll share with you what I created at the workshop!

Studio Wednesday

Today was devoted to finishing my beaded mokume gane cabochon necklace.

This necklace evolved one step at a time without any sketches or set plan. First, I created the polymer clay cabochon with slices from a mokume gane stack. Then I glued the cabochon to a piece of heavyweight Pellon Peltex 70 and beaded around it. I sat with the pendant for awhile meditating on what kind of necklace would feature it best. I decided on a multi-strand seed bead necklace.

After creating the 6-strand seed bead necklace, I added a beaded bail at the top of the cabochon. The open cones at the end of the strands are made from polymer clay with a copper mica powder rubbed in before baking. I also textured the cone with a piece of coral before rubbing in the powder. My intent with the cones is to make it look like the beads are spilling out of them. A cascade of beads. 16-gauge sterling silver was used to form the hook clasp with jumpring chain extender. I dipped the silver wire in a liver of sulfur solution until the wire was coppery brown.

I spent most of the day in my studio. I was so intent on my work that I never got a chance to go outside and enjoy the beautiful day. Now it’s time for a nice long walk!