I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
Can you tell I am a bit obsessed with the beautiful stones that nature can make?! I’m making my own version; but with Polymer clay. It’s endless possibilities have taken me in my usual unconventional direction. This is Part 1 of making Pretty Amazing Polymer Geodes that will become some amazing pendants…
The Amazing Polymer Clay:
Whilst strolling around a craft shop and pinterest I came upon ‘Translucent Clay’! Wo, that opened a whole lot of possibilities in that ‘artist-brain’ of mine. You know I love the clear beauty of resin with my pendants. This Premo brand Polymer clay has 2 colours of a translucent clay that with the right treatment will allow some perfect way to add sparkle and detail.
My line up of Premo clay (left to right):
- Black (5042)
- Graphite (5120)
- Silver (5129)
- White (5001)
- pearl (5101)
- Translucent (5310)
- White translucent (5527)
I am replicating something from nature so I have chosen the more neutral palette of colours, but feel free to experiment. Just be aware that if the colours are too strong it will not look as real. Keeping to colours that relate on the colour wheel also works well.
I’ll admit that polymer clay has not always been my love since it typically looked so ‘plasticy’, probably since most use such a saturated bunch of colours. I like a challenge so I’m making my own rules… as usual.
Love the Pasta Machine:
Haha, I think my mother-in-law would flip! I now use the pasta machine to roll clay! Yes, it’s wonderful for that! Soften some of the translucent clay by working it in your warm hands until it will run through the machine at the thickest setting.
No special tools are needed for simple working with polymer clay you can just use things that you already have; knives, knitting needles, rolling pin, nails, straws, wire, rocks, etc instead of buying expensive tools.
Silver leafing is amazing with translucent clay. To embed some metallics use some silver or gold leaf and place over the rolled clay, as much or as little preferred.
Once you roll it again slightly thinner it will crackle and spread. How lovely! And if you repeat with many layers it will shine through the translucent clay. Go crazy or be refined, there really is no wrong with this project.
Making the Geode Layers:
The basic principle of this project is to make a multitude of layers of varying shades/colours. Some can be thicker, some thinner, repeated layers… and so on.
In my mind I wanted the translucent layers with the metallic embedded in the centre and working outwards to darker colours, some can be mixed as well. Take reference from real geodes. The ‘more the better’ to look genuine. Yes, they are wrinkled since that will add some waves to the lines. (skip ahead if you must see)
The Geode Core:
The core piece is really just a ‘place-holder’. It will allow the layers to be wrapped around it and formed but I am not planning on keeping it. So I used what ever bulk clay I had to make a bumpy ‘log’. I have some glass rocks with great texture and use them to texturize the edges.
Add all the layers around the ‘log’ making sure they are well attached without any air bubbles. Don’t be concerned that it needs to be a perfect circle as it should be quite an irregular shape.
The Best Part:
If you were a bit confused it will now seem to all make sense! See the great layers when you cut the clay?! Use a clay slicer/cutter to get some nice slices. If the clay has gotten too soft from the working it can be chilled a bit before cutting so it will not lose its shape and texture.
Choose a thickness relative to what you are making. I am making pretty large statement pendants so I have cut them about 3/16″ or about 4 millimetres.
If they are not quite flat they can be rolled under some parchment paper or pressed under a smooth tile.
Notice the unique layers and how it is much more interesting than just a circle. The more the better! The leafing will show through the translucent clay as well.
A Hollow Geode:
The centre log was a place-holder so it will be cut away as geodes have a hollow core. However if you want to create an agate slice then you can incorporate layers in the middle as well… so many options.
You can manipulate the shapes at this point and add texture on the interior and exterior edges.
If you would like some holes use a straw to pierce them. Bake according to the instructions. Be careful to not over-bake the clay. Any excess clay can be wrapped around some ‘balls’ to create some great beads as well. The scraps work great if they are run through the pasta machine again.
There is a special way to finish these like no other polymer project! Check out Making Polymer Geodes Sparkle. So get yourself some clay and get rolling… since you knew the pasta machine was good for something other than pasta!
And, if you want to make more geodes I have instructions for you!