How to Make Quilted Silver Beads
After making the leaf bead, I was impressed with the detail
made possible by the metal clay. Therefore, I decided to use the
same technique but create a different look. When I finished
making these beads, I thought they looked as though they had been
"quilted." Before firing, each bead weighed about 5.43 grams.
After firing, they are about 3.8 grams each. The size and weight
of your beads may depend on how large you make them and the size
of the straw that you use for creating the holes in the
To make these beads, you'll need:
6 playing cards
a small ball of PMC (about 6 grams)
fine sand paper or emery board
*a small piece of mesh cloth
a clean surface to work on
Exacto ® knife
2 inch piece of plastic straw
jeweler's file or emery board
*This mesh material should be easy to find at most fabric
stores because they usually carry a variety of trims and laces.
If you've ever sewn, you might even have a bag of scraps around
that some interesting textures to try.
1. Divide your playing cards into two stacks with three cards
in each stack and set them on your work surface with a few inches
between each stack.
2. Place your ball of clay in between the stacks.
3. Rub some olive oil on your roller.
4. You should have some oil on your hands now, so take the
piece of cloth in between your hands and get it a little oily. It
doesn't need much oil, but this will help keep it from sticking
to your clay.
5. Roll out the clay.
6. Now place your mesh cloth over the flat clay.
7. Roll out the clay again so that the mesh cloth is pressed
into the clay, and pull off the cloth.
8. Now use the knife to cut out a square of clay that measures
approximately 1 inch wide and 1 ¼ inch long. Make sure to
cut the piece so that all the little squares created by the mesh
9. Take the clay piece and warp it around your straw. I had a
little extra clay in my length, so after wrapping it around the
straw, I cut off the excess.
10. You want to seal both ends of the clay that are wrapped
around the straw together. I used the end of a small paint brush
to push the clay together. Be very careful when you do this so
that you don't mess up the design on your clay.
11. To ensure that one side of the bead isn't flat, either set
the straw up right in a bowl of vermiculite so that the clay is
able to dry, or you can position the straw over a small jar.
12. Once the clay is dry, you may need to use fine sand paper
or an emery board to file the ends of the bead so that they are
13. Fire your beads in a kiln at 1650 degrees F or 900 degrees
C for two hours. During the firing process, be careful of the
fumes from the plastic straw that will burn out. These are toxic!
Do not breath in these toxic fumes!
14. Finish your beads by polishing them.
These quilted beads just show one way to use this technique.
So, look around your house for some interesting textures you can
roll into your metal clay.
Sterling Silver Beads Wholesale Store http://www.dewatabali.com
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