“Pewter” Polymer Clay Pendants

I’ve been tinkering with the idea for some new jewelry for a while, ever since my beloved HAL-9000 went missing. Rather than go the route with wood, paint and a color printer again, I was playing with the idea of using polymer clay to create a more stylized HAL. But, having never played with polymer clay before, I wanted a fun project to use as a test run. Thanks to shaunte and Crafts Unleashed, I found one!

2 oz Craft Smart white polymer clay
Highland Arts 1/4″ “typeset” alphabet stamp set
Craft Smart Premium Satin gun-metal multi-surface acrylic paint
Craft Smart Premium Satin black multi-surface acrylic paint
Mod Podge antique decoupage finish/sealer
Two 1″ sponge brushes
Testors micro sponge brushes
1/4″ heart metal stamp
1/4″ star metal stamp
1/4″ moon metal stamp
Re-purposed aluminum foil tube
Stylus
Emory board
Rolling pin
Paper towels
Wax paper
Aluminum foil

“Pewter” has a few advantages for a first-time polymer clay jewelry project– it’s monochromatic, has an industrial aesthetic, and it’s easy to make mistakes and have the finished product still look visually appealing (“anarchic” as opposed to “first-grader mysteriously allowed to use the oven”). I liked the rough look of some of shaunte’s pendants and opted to go with a similar style — asymmetrical shapes and rough outlines; as though someone had just poured the base metal into a loose mold or cut the shapes out by hand. The circular pendants I made are also inspired by wax seals.

One fun thing I discovered about working with polymer clay — unlike metal stamping, if you make a mistake or don’t like the look of something you’ve done, you can roll up your materials and start again!

Craft Smart polymer clay bakes at 275 degrees, 15 minutes for every 1/4″ of thickness in the clay. Once the pendants had baked and cooled, I transferred them from the wax paper to foil and began painting them. I started with the black paint and Testor micro brushes, accenting the letters and shapes, rubbing away excess paint with a wet paper towel. Once the accents were dry, I used the sponge brush to apply the gun-metal/pewter coats (sponges are best for re-creating the texture of pewter — don’t even try normal brushes). After the paint was dry, I used the second sponge brush to apply a light, diluted base of the antique decoupage finish.

Test projects are always a fun excuse to experiment and play with ideas. For the test batch of pendants, I ended up going with a mixed bag of concepts — the “moon and star” and “star stuff” pendants are both inspired by Carl Sagan quotes. The “A” and “Q” pendants are for the initials of my girlfriend and a friend of mine. If you can’t figure out what “SPAM” and “SPLUNGE!” might be related to, I don’t know what to tell you.

From concept to completion, this project took me about three hours. I looked up when I set the last pendant down to dry and realized it was 10 pm and I hadn’t eaten anything since one. (Funny how that happens when you get an idea…)

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~ by blackmoodcraft on March 7, 2015.

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