Monday, June 6, 2016

DIY Polymer Clay Marbled Metallic Cufflinks

Polymer clay is a fun way to create faux-marble and for this craft I worked with black, gold, and silver for a strong metallic marbled effect.  You can customise your designs to any colour/pattern that you wish, and the same techniques shown can be easily applied to any bezel base (e.g. earrings, pendants, keychains etc).

  • Lightly scuff the inside of two bezel-style cufflink bases, wipe clean with a dry cloth, and set aside while you prep your clay. If your base is textured, you can skip this step. Scuffing is optional for smooth bases, but can help your clay hold better - a quick rub with scrap of sandpaper or steel wool on a fingertip works nicely.
  • 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 onto itself and roll into a single smooth cane.
  • Roll flat. If you don't have a pin or press that you want to use with clay, the side of a glass bottle or jar works nicely.
  • Fold and repeat if/as needed to get the desired thickness and degree of marbling. Be careful not to overwork else your marbling will be muddy. If this happens, not to worry - you can store your overworked clay for other projects and start again.
  • Cut two small circles of clay in approximately the amount you will need to fill your cufflink bezel base. You can do this by either carefully using the bezel edge of your cufflink or, if you have one in a suitable size, a small cookie/fondant cutter.
  • Place the clay into each base carefully and press clay-side down against a smooth flat surface to fully flatten. Take care to ensure good contact at the edges.
  • Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely.
  • Optional: If adding glaze, apply to manufacturer's directions.  A small bowl of rice or something similar can be helpful for setting the cufflinks in face-up whilst drying.

It's hard to see the difference in blog photos; however, I gloss glazed these cufflinks. The gloss does a lovely job of accentuating the metallic clays, but I think that prefer the look of the matte marbled metallics. I would probably leave them matte if doing a similar pair in the future. Both options look lovely - just a matter of personal taste!

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