Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Make Marbled Metallic Clay Drop Earrings

I loved the metallic faux-marble of these DIY marbled clay cufflinks so much that I made myself a pair of easy DIY drop earrings using the same marbled effect. Polymer clay is such a fun and simple way to create faux-marble.  For the earrings shown I worked with black, gold; however, you can easily customise your designs to any colour/pattern (or shape) that you wish. The same techniques shown can be easily applied to a bezel-style base, as we did for the marbled cufflinks.

  • Trim two eye pins to suit your drop size.  You can trim and insert straight, or for a stronger hold, leave it a touch longer and create a loop or zig/zag for added grip in the baked clay.  I often use straight pins in small light clay pieces, but always add grip for larger pieces.
  • Select your clay colour(s) and work a small quantity of each clay in your hands until conditioned to a soft and pliable state for working. 
  • Roll a small thin cane of each colour.
  • Twist the canes together.
  • Bend the twisted cane into a loose ball/cane and divide into small pieces, the size of your desired earrings.  I often roll clay when marbling, but doing any extra working and combination at this stage on such small pieces can cause muddy marbling since you continue to blend when forming your balls and drops.
  • Roll each piece into a small ball (marbling will blend in the process).
  • Gently insert the cut end of your eye pin into a ball and carefully smooth insertion point if/as needed (a toothpick can be handy for this detail task). Repeat for the second ball. 
  • Press gently to flatten from a ball to a pillow drop, taking care to ensure that your headpins are aligned to the same position for each piece. Omit this step if you prefer a round drop. For headpins, align sideways to attach directly to a standard earring loop (as shown) or front-back to attach via a jump ring or small length of chain for added dangle.
  • Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely before continuing to attach to earring ear wiresIf using a glaze (optional) apply prior to attaching your earring hardware. The earrings shown are unglazed.
  • Use small pliers to open your ear wire loop to the side, the same way you would a jump ring. Always open/close sideways, never pull apart. Slip the eye pin loop onto the earring, taking care to ensure your bead is facing pattern-out for wear. 

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