Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weird Little DIY - clay necklace

We did a lot of crafts in my house when I was a kid. My mom was always excellent at planning activities – maybe in part because of her background as a special ed teacher – and so we were always taping peanut shells onto construction paper, or turning wooden spools into snowmen’s bowties, or painting just about anything that could be painted. Maybe all these crafts are what turned us into a bunch of art-making weirdos. Thanks, Mom!

One of our favorite mediums was sculpey, as we did best (especially Melissa, who went on to art school) with no plan and no rules. So we would just make whatever we wanted out of clay, our mom would bake them up, and then probably we’d forget about our little creations and make something new the next day.

I was looking through Instagram recently, and came upon these really interesting clay pieces. I can’t for the life of me find them again, but I saw enough to give me some ideas. I was early to a meeting in Central Square on a rainy day, so I ducked into an art supply store, and spent my time picking out some clay.

This necklace has been referred to as a pan flute, candy cigarettes, and a more general, “what even is that?” It has no particular reference, but it certainly did appear in my mind and ask to get made.

First, I chose two different colors that I wanted to work with. Then I mushed together little chunks of each color. I knew I wanted each of the little bars to be of different lengths, and to have the colors reach different heights, so I purposefully had my chunks be different sizes.

Then I rolled them all out and neatened up the edges by slicing them off with a butter knife.

Then I smushed them together. Nothing special or interesting.
The hardest part was figuring out how I was going to turn this shape into a necklace. I used a paperclip to dig a little well into it, and then covered it with another flat piece of clay. It doesn’t look very professional. Actually it looks pretty awful. But it’s the back, and it’s just for me, and I don’t mind.

Next, I baked them! It smelled awful. I put them on a foil lined cookie sheet at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.

To make the pendant hang, I pushed some craft wire through the well that I had made and twisted the ends into little loops so I could tie on some string. I’d like to figure out how to do this a little bit better.

Stay tuned for a post about the marbled bead necklace that I made!

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