About two weeks or so ago, I did my first experiment with the watercolor technique for polymer clay. Maggie Maggio did a great tutorial, here, if you’re curious what the steps are. This was also my first foray into using alcohol inks with polymer. By the time I finished my first bead, I was hooked.
Then, wouldn’t you know it, the July challenge at the Art Bead Scene blog is a beautiful watercolor. It’s as if they picked it just for me. I played around with different colors and I found I really liked the way it looked when I added embossing powder to the translucent layer. After a lot of playing around, I put together these earrings for the challenge.
To create these beads, first I mixed a verdigris embossing powder into translucent clay. Once it was integrated, I rolled the clay into a sheet and added drops of alcohol ink – a little bit on one side, a little more in the middle, and even more on the end to create a kind of Skinner blend. When I covered my base bead with the bits of the finished veneer, I pulled bits from each part of my blue sheet to create a variety of colors. From there, I rolled out the clay into a graduated log and rolled them up to create the shell form you see here. A couple of freshwater pearls pulled in some of the muted purple from the inspiration art to finish the earrings.
Once I had the challenge jewelry squared away, I knew I couldn’t stop there and I spent a huge chunk of the long holiday weekend making beads. Now I’ve got a handful of new earrings & necklaces and a decent stash of beads still waiting to get made into something. I took a batch of photos of the new finished pieces, so I’ll be updating my Etsy shop with the new additions over the next few days. The ABS challenge earrings are already up, and a number of others won’t be far behind.