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Bearded iris pendant

Combine metal clay with polymer clay in this sophisticated floral pendant

In this project, you’ll sculpt flowers in relief, then make a mold that results in a bas relief effect when used with metal clay. The cane pattern is a basic repeated square that is a variation of woven ribbon.

In the instructions below, we’ll get you started on marking a sculpted sheet mold. For full instructions – including how to make the metal clay component and polymer clay component, and how to connect the components and finish the pendant – download the free project PDF.

Materials

Metal clay

  • 5-10 grams metal clay
  • 1/2 oz. mold-making polymer clay, two colors is helpful
  • clay softener (or mineral oil)
  • rubber-tipped sculpting tools
  • ball stylus or other fine-tipped sculpting tool

Polymer clay

  • about 1/2 oz. of polymer clay in two or three colors (I used colors that were blended with metallic colors)
  • 1/2 oz. black polymer clay
  • bamboo skewer or 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) wooden dowel
  • wet/dry sandpaper, 400 and 600 grit

Jewelry making

  • 4 brass escutcheon pins, (round-head brad nails) 8 x 1/2 in. (203 x 13 mm)
  • 18 in. (45.7 cm) 2.5 mm snake chain
Bearded iris pendant Photo a
Photo A
Bearded iris pendant Photo b
Photo B

Instructions

Make a sculpted sheet mold

1. Roll a sheet of mold-making polymer clay to about 2 mm thick and 3 x 3 in. (76 x 76 mm) for the backing sheet of the mold (Photo A). Bake and cool. With a drop of clay softening oil, moisten the area of the backing sheet where you’d like the design.

2. Roll several very thin snakes of clay for stems for flowers. Press into place. Add wider snakes for leaves and add vein lines with a sculpting tool (Photo B). 

Tip!
Use caution when combining a strong geometric pattern like a kaleidoscope cane in polymer clay with metal clay. This one works because the colors are muted and the contrast is low.
Bearded iris pendant Photo c
Photo C
Bearded iris pendant Photo d
Photo D

3. Add iris petals by forming curved teardrop shapes and arranging them around the center of the stem (Photo C). Add upright petals as well.

4. With a ball stylus, add details such as vein lines and ruffled edges on the petals (Photo D). Bake and cool.

Bearded iris pendant Photo e
Photo E

5. Roll another slab of mold-making polymer clay. Take a mold from the sculpted positive relief by moistening the surface of the positive sheet with a light spray of water, laying the design face down on the mold-making clay, and rolling firmly across the sheet in one direction. Carefully peel apart (Photo E). Bake the sheet that now holds the negative impression of the iris flowers. Cool.

For full project instructions, download the free PDF.

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