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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Polymer Clay Candy Corn Bracelet

I love October.  The colors and smells of autumn bring my senses to life.  I love to bury my nose in the first bag of candy corn I buy in October.   I open it with relish and pour it into a clear glass candy jar.  That's when it's fall to me!
Three years ago I went to Italy with three friends to take polymer clay jewelry classes with Louise Fisher Cozzi and Donna Kato.  We had so much fun!  
Louise taught us how to achieve an amazing technique to give polymer clay layers of color.  She uses translucent polymer clay and colors it with oil paint.  After it's cured, she adds more oil paint on top of that.  After that's dry, she uses color pencils to give the piece another layer of fabulous color.

Here I've started conditioning translucent polymer clay.  After the clay is fairly soft you can add a tiny bit of oil paint.  An inexpensive oil paint is fine.

Continue to condition until the clay is a uniform color.  It helps to have a piece of the candy corn to look at while you're tinting the clay.  Be sure to add only a dab of paint each time, and do the yellow before the orange.  It's okay to get yellow paint on your orange clay, but not okay to get orange paint on your yellow clay.
The orange roll will be the largest, the yellow is half as large as the orange and the white roll is half as large as the yellow.  Lay the rolls side by side and slice evenly.  Begin by rolling the white piece into a cone, the orange piece an egg shape and the yellow piece into a slightly flattened oval.

Gently roll the pieces until the all edges touch and it looks like a continuous cone shape. 

Flatten the cone shape slightly.  It's a good idea to have that candy corn to look at for dimension.

For the bracelet beads, bend a wire or paper clip to mark where the holes will be.  I made mine to mark both holes just inside the orange part.  For earring beads, you might want to make a vertical hole through the candy corn.  Remember to hold the clay very gently as you pierce it, so you don't squish it.
Bake the clay as directed on the package.
When making a bracelet, I line my beads up against a ruler to make it seven inches long.  The length you use depends on who the bracelet is for.  I wanted this bracelet to look full, so I used three strings in each bead hole and strung smallish beads.  Larger beads would make it look chunky, if that's your preference.
Have fun making your beads and bracelet, and send me a photo! 

The Southern Institute