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Glass-like polymer clay beads

Add a lustrous finish to translucent color blends to give polymer clay the look of lampworked glass

Colorful slices of extruded clay can be layered on any bead shape to add pattern and visual interest. By including slices of translucent clay, these patterns achieve more visual depth. For a subtle effect, combine closely related colors; for more contrast, mix complementary colors. You can find inspiration by looking at the color palettes and patterns in lampworked glass.

To make colorful clay slices like the ones in this project, a hand-crank pasta machine and a clay extruder are well worth the investment. Instead of using the large, trigger-style extruder shown with the project, you can purchase a smaller, twist-action version.

See the complete instructions in the gallery below, or click here for the free project PDF.

Materials

  • Polymer clay:
    - 4 oz. (112g), translucent
    - 2 oz. (56g), white
    - 2 oz. (56g), pearl
    - 2 oz. (56g) each, three opaque colors
  • Alcohol-based inks (optional)

Tools & supplies

  • Pasta machine*
  • Nonstick work surface
  • Baby wipes or paper towels
  • Tissue blade
  • Circle cutter
  • Clay extruder
  • Needle tool
  • Oven*
  • Sandpaper, wet/dry: 320, 400, 600 grit
  • Finishing items (choose from):
    - Soft cloth
    - Buffing machine and stitched cloth buff
    - Dremel tool or flex shaft with buffing attachment
  • Sealer: water-based polyurethane
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Flat-tip paintbrush

*Dedicated to nonfood use.

Suppliers

Instructions
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