I have mentioned before that I am a Rings-N-Things blog partner. Every so often they will host a challenge and select a few blog partners to try out an item they sell. Last month I was one of the lucky chosen, and they sent me a selection of their brand new cuff blanks to play with. The cuffs come in a couple of different widths, in both copper and brass. Here’s what came in the package:
I was pretty excited about this, I can tell you. I have been wanting to try a polymer clay technique and was just waiting for
the right opportunity to drop into my lap. This was it!
I should mention that I don’t usually work in
polymer clay, so of course I had no idea what I was doing. I got the idea from
a book on polymer clay by Carol Blackburn, entitled “Making Polymer Clay Beads”. One of the techniques she explains is mokume gane, which is a Japanese metalworking method that involves slicing thin layers away to expose the inner pattern.
In hindsight, this was probably not the easiest choice for a beginner, but being blessed with the crafting gene I am simply intrepid about diving into any new craft without a second thought. The only real downside to this is that I generally underestimate the time involved (which sometimes results in very late nights and very cranky mornings).
So I took a road trip up to Polymer Clay Express (a fabulous store that I am lucky enough to live only 20 minutes away from) to buy my supplies, and then sat down one evening to make up my clay stacks. [Side note: fresh clay is a lot easier to condition than old clay. Just saying.]
Making the stacks was relatively easy, once I had conditioned the clay. Then I let my clay rest overnight before making my slices. After that, I cut the clay to fit the cuff blanks. It took a bit of doing because of course my sheets of clay weren’t the right shape for the blanks, but I managed it in the end. I bent the cuffs into shape first.
I will show the finished cuffs in my next post.