I wanted to recreate beads like the ones here. These two came from a necklace I bought at ICING years ago--plastic, imperfect things that were oddly shaped. I liked their shapes, but hated that they weren't opaque. I guess I wanted a hybrid of these beads + these swarovski beads. Rock shaped, geometric, beautiful.
Clay was the best bet, so I googled to try and find a tutorial: I was led to Dismount Creative, which is a great site.
I really enjoyed her tutorial, but found that when I sliced the sides BEFORE baking, the edges weren't as crisp as I wanted them to be. I might have been exerting too much pressure? They weren't looking like DC's at all, hers looked great! I was getting frustrated.
I finally got one as a good as I was probably going to get it, popped it into the oven and waited. I ended up taking an exacto knife and slicing the bead to try and straighten out the sides. It worked a lot better than I thought it would.
This is a variation of her brilliant tutorial. Hope everyone enjoys!
You will also need a good, clean workspace and an oven. I used a toaster oven.
Don't forget to check the packaging details: TIME & TEMPS.
I'm using PREMO's WHITE GRANITE. I'm only using half the pack.
Condition the clay. You can use a pasta machine if you want. I just used my hands. Roll it into a ball. Repeat until you run out of clay. Try to make the balls into similar sizes.
When you're done making your balls, it's time to pierce them. (Making them into beads. If you want to make these into cabs or itty bitty studs you can skip this step.) You also can use a toothpick if you want a bigger hole.
Now you're ready to pop them into the oven. I put them on a small piece of foil. Do not reuse foil for cooking, please. Also, don't use kitchen utensils if you're planning to consume food with them again.
Let them bake! Make sure you follow the directions on the packaging. While waiting, I decided to go ahead and make some turquoise ones.
When your beads are ready, carefully take them out of the oven. You are now ready for the fun part--but take caution. The beads WILL be hot. They're easier to cut when warm. If you can't bear the heat, I recommend keeping a barrier between you and the bead.
I folded the aluminum over the beads to trap some heat in. The first couple beads will cut like butter, but as they cool down, it will get more tough to cut through. I cut either like how is pictured above, or I hold the bead and use my blade to cut straight down to make contact with the surface--I'm using a foam board. There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern. I just cut as I want too.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
A NOTE: In comparison to DC's method, this way DOES waste more clay. What you shave off can't be reused to make another bead. You can make more beads with DC's method.
In one full package of clay, I can get about 25-30 beads. The clay costs about $2.
You can also control the amount you shave off.
This is from half a pack of PREMO.
ANOTHER NOTE: When I cut some gold geo beads, I ended up cutting off the outside color. I don't know if it's because I took them out of the oven too early? but the outside hue was much more vibrant. You can see what I mean here. This is the only color so far that I have worked with that did this.
Now you're done to use the beads however you wish (: You can paint them, mix the colors, string them, anything!
Please comment if you've enjoyed this tutorial & have any comments or questions. Also, if you decide to try & make your own, please show me pictures!