Bold bright bracelet

Friday, June 21, 2013

This colourful bracelet is enjoyable to make and fun to wear. By Alison Gallant.


½ block cadmium yellow

½ block green 

3/8 block fuchsia and 1/8 block cadmium red mixed together 

½ block cobalt blue and large pinch of fuchsia mixed together

1¼ blocks white  

½ block black  

½ block scrap clay

Length of 0.8mm clear elastic  

Cyanoacrylate glue  

Pasta machine


Needle tool

Coarse sandpaper

12mm round cutter

Wet and dry sandpaper


Alison has been making polymer clay jewellery for over twenty years and sells her work online and in galleries. She holds classes in her studio in the beautiful Wye Valley. This really bold bracelet uses one of the prime polymer clay techniques of skinner blending to give gradation and depth of colour on the beads. This time the blend is rolled up with the intense colour in the centre. Using methods like this gives your project an element of professional quality.



Step 1

Condition the clay and roll each colour through the pasta machine at the thickest setting. Take one half of the red, blue, green and yellow sheets, and form into rectangles approx. 4mm x 12mm. Roll four sheets of white the same size. Cut all the coloured and white sheets and form into four offset double layer Skinner blends.



Step 2

Roll each sheet through the pasta machine at the thickest setting, keeping the colour on the left and white on the right. Fold and repeat approx. 20 times. Turn 90 degrees and run through 3 times, reducing the thickness each time. Cut each sheet in half along the length and roll up one half from the colour to white, making logs 3cm tall and 2cm diameter. Save the remaining blends for another project.



Step 3

Take a quarter block each of black and white, roll through the pasta machine at the thickest setting and form into sheets measuring 6cm x 8cm. Place white on black, cut in half, stack and repeat to give 8 layers. Cut twelve 5mm thick slices. Turn and roll through at the thickest setting to elongate the stripes. Place 3 around each skinner blend log, and roll gently. Reduce diameter to 7mm.



Step 4

Make nine 15mm round beads from scrap clay. Cover each with a thin layer of black and roll smooth. Cut slices from each striped log and place on the round beads. (I used two slices of each colour per bead). Gently roll in. Look at the balance of the pattern on the bead, choose an axis and pierce beads with your needle tool.



Step 5

Pass the remainder of the coloured sheets through the pasta machine 3 times, reducing the setting each time. Texture both sides with coarse sandpaper and cut seven 12mm discs of each colour. Make a hole in the centre of the discs and gently flute edges by pressing between forefinger and thumb. Retexture if necessary. Bake beads from steps 4 and 5 according to clay manufacturer's instructions.



Step 6

Sand and buff the round beads. Thread onto 0.8mm clear elastic, putting three different coloured discs between each bead. Tie a double knot and add a dob of cyanoacrylate glue for extra security. Hide the knot between
two textured discs.


Extra projects:

Make a pendant


Using 3 different sizes of teardrop cutters, cut one large piece from the remainder of a textured sheet, a medium sized piece from a different colour, and a small shape from a sheet of the coloured dots.

Make earrings


Cut two pieces from the patterned sheet using the medium sized teardrop cutter. 

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