Park Güell Necklace
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A Spanish stroll in the park inspires a piece of jewellery that mimics mosaics. By Chris Pellow
Chris is a self-taught polymer clay artist who has been making jewellery and quirky home décor items from her studio in the inspiring Highlands of Scotland for the last eight years. She is co-founder of the Scottish Polymer Clay Guild and runs workshops in basic techniques and master classes for students of varying ages and abilities.
Chris says she loves Antonio Gaudi's work, in particular the magnificent mosaics in Park Güell, in Barcelona. Park Güell is made up of amazing stone structures, magnificent tiling and mosaics and interesting buildings. The ceiling of the hall of columns was the inspiration for this necklace.
1 block Fimo® Pearl,
1 block Fimo® Classic White, scrap clay
Texture plate of your choice
Round cutters in three sizes
Coral spacer beads
Red seed beads
1mm beading wire
Clasp and findings
Polymer clay, seed beads and findings from shops
in this magazine.
Turquoise and spacer beads recycled from other necklaces.
Condition all the clay. You will need only a tiny bit of brown clay to mix thoroughly with the Pearl clay to make a slightly darker 'grout' sheet. The picture shows the content of one pack of Pearl clay with the amount of coloured clay required to obtain the correct colour. Roll the clay into a sheet on No.3 (thin) setting on a pasta machine. Set aside.
Roll the White clay into a big log. Stand it up. Cut from the top to the bottom. Place a piece of the 'grout' layer on the cut surface and put the log back together. Repeat cutting and replacing until you obtain a cane. We are trying to mimic mosaic, so cut triangles and irregular shapes. Reduce the cane, cut into several logs and reassemble into one cane.
Roll a layer of scrap clay on No.3 of the pasta machine. Cover with evenly sliced pieces from the mosaic cane and put them next to each other on the sheet. Cover with cling film and gently roll with the acrylic roller to even out the cane slices and flatten the surface. When you are happy with the result, cut out five circles: one large, two medium and two smaller ones.
Put the circles on a rounded baking shape, such as oyster serving trays or paint mixing wells. Bake at the recommended temperature for 30 minutes. Let the beads cool and sand them with rough wet/dry sandpaper until the bottom is flat. This will assure a snug fit with the underside of the bead. Roll out the remainder of the Pearl clay on No.3 of the pasta machine.
Place each bead with the sanded side onto the clay sheet and push them down a bit. Place the cutter over the clay/bead sandwich and cut out the circle. Use a tissue blade to lift the 'sandwich' from the surface. Texture the bottom side of the bead and cut away the protruding parts; a subtle texture from a leather sofa sample has been used here. Bake the beads.
After cooling, sand the sides of the beads to get rid of any unsightly bits. Sand and polish the large and smaller beads to a high shine. Gently drill the holes in the 'hollow' beads. Drill the hole slightly above the centre of the bead so the beads will drape nicely. String with Turquoise beads, Coral spacers and red seed beads to show off the style of the white mosaics.
Use a tiny speck of black mixed with the Pearl clay to obtain a grey grout.
Make a much wider bracelet with tapering end pieces to the width
of the clasp for
a different design.
Extra projects, make earrings:
Cut out four small circles from the patterned sheet and bake on the rounded surface. Gently sand the bottom flat. Put a thin layer of liquid clay on the flat sides and push two circles together. Bake, sand and polish one side. Drill and string as earrings.