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Colorful polymer pod pendant

Sew beads onto a polymer form to make a pod bursting with your favorite jewels.

SUPPLIES

pendant 1 1⁄2 x 2 in. (3.8 x 5 cm)

  • 2–3 oz. polymer clay in each of 1–2 colors
  • 40–60 assorted drop beads and briolettes
  • 2 in. (5 cm) 20-gauge wire
  • Fireline 6 lb. test beading needles, #10
  • acrylic roller
  • needle tool
  • pasta machine* 
  • tissue blade
  • toaster oven*
  • wet sandpaper (400, 600, 800 grit)
  • roundnose pliers
  • wire cutters
INSTRUCTIONS
Colorful polymer pod pendant_a
PHOTO A
Colorful polymer pod pendant_b
PHOTO B
Colorful polymer pod pendant_c
PHOTO C
BEADED DOME

1. Condition each block of clay. Using any color clay, roll an egg-shaped ball about 1⁄2 x 3⁄4 in. (1.3 x 1.9 cm). Cup the ball in your palm, and press an indentation into the ball with your thumb, creating a dome shape about 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) thick (PHOTO A). 

2. Maintaining the curvature of the dome, press the pointed end of assorted drop beads and briolettes onto the convex surface of the dome, leaving about 1⁄8 in. (3 mm) around the edges uncovered. Remove the beads, and use the needle tool to poke a hole through the center of each indentation created by a bead (PHOTO B). Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the dome in the toaster oven. Allow it to cool completely.

3. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of Fireline, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, sew through a hole in the dome, back to front. Pick up a drop bead or briolette, and sew back through the hole your thread exited (PHOTO C). Sew up through an adjacent hole, pick up a drop bead or briolette, and sew back through the hole. Snug up the beads, and tie the working thread and tail together with a square knot. Sew up through an adjacent hole, and continue adding drop beads or briolettes to fill all the indentations.

If there are gaps, fill them in by attaching a second bead through a nearby hole. Tie the working thread and tail together with a square knot, and trim them to about 1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm).

Colorful polymer pod pendant_d
PHOTO D
OUTER SHELL

1. Using any color clay, roll an egg-shaped ball about 1 x 11⁄2 in. (2.5 x 3.8 cm), and press the back of the dome onto it. Press some clay around the edges of the dome (PHOTO D). 

2. Cut a 1-in. (2.5 cm) piece of wire. Using roundnose pliers, bend the wire in half, and cross the tails of the wire, forming a shape like an awareness ribbon (PHOTO E). Insert the wire into the clay where you want the necklace to attach to the pendant, and press the clay around the insertion point to cover the tails. Repeat with the remaining wire (PHOTO F). Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the clay in the toaster oven. Allow it to cool completely.

Colorful polymer pod pendant_e
PHOTO E
Colorful polymer pod pendant_f
PHOTO F

3. Set the pasta machine to a middle setting, and roll a sheet of clay about 2 x 2 1⁄2 in. (5 x 6.4 cm). Center the baked shape on the sheet, and fold the clay up around the edges, allowing the wire loops to poke through the clay (PHOTO G). Smooth the areas around the loops. Roll another sheet about 2 x 2 1⁄2 in. (5 x 6.4 cm), and cut it in half. Place the clay strips around the edges of the beaded dome, and trim the clay close to the beads (PHOTO H). Using your fingers and clay tools, shape the clay into an organic-looking pod shape, and smooth the seams of the clay to form the outer shell. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the clay in the toaster oven. Allow it to cool completely.

4. Using wet sandpaper in increasingly fine grits, sand the outer surface until smooth. 

Colorful polymer pod pendant_g
PHOTO G
Colorful polymer pod pendant_h
PHOTO H
DESIGNER'S NOTE

To wear the pendant as a necklace, string coordinating beads or seed beads, and attach your strung work through the wire loops. 

Alternatively, stitch a peyote or herringbone rope with 11/0 seed beads, attach it to the pendant by sewing through the wire loops, and add embellishments to conceal the connection.

Designers note

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