These bamboo tile beads are effective and you will learn/use quite a number of techniques when creating them so they are great for beginners. Experiment with different colours and textures!
2 x blocks Polymer Clay
(I have used Sculpey Premo in Gold &
Burnt Umber 56gram)
(I got mine from www.kaysartycles.com.au)
Liquid Polymer Clay
(I used Liquid Sculpey)
(I used Jo Sonja’s brand in Carbon Black)
Renaissance Wax or Varnish
Smooth Work Surface (glass, perspex etc)
(I have used Studio by Sculpey – Chantilly Lace Texture Sheet)
Spray Bottle (water)
** This tutorial assumes you are working with an Atlas pasta machine ie. 1 is thickest setting.
Condition your polymer clay and create a Skinner Blend.
If you are unsure how to do this you can find the information HERE
Mist your texture sheet with water (“bumpy side”) and give it a shake to remove any excess. You don’t want to wet your clay too much – the water only needs to act as a release agent.
Place the texture sheet, ‘bumpy side down’ on your clay sheet. Push down slightly so the sheet stays in position.
Impress the sheet into the clay using an acrylic roller (you may wish to stand up to do this to get more pressure on the texture sheet).
Roll from the inside out if you can ie. start from the middle and roll to the top then go back to the middle and roll towards the bottom. This prevents too much movement from the texture sheet.
Carefully peel your texture sheet off the clay – start from one corner and pull up slowly.
You should have a good impression on your clay blend.
Trim one edge of the clay sheet.
Place one of your bamboo tiles gently on the sheet and cut just above it.
This strip is what you will use to cover the bamboo tile.
Cover your bamboo tile with liquid polymer clay.
I find it easier to use my finger rather than use brushes etc. but you can use a brush if you wish.
Note: Baby wipes will remove any excess liquid clay from your fingers.
Starting from the edge of the bamboo tile, wrap the strip around the tile.
Do this slowly so you can run your fingers along the clay as you go which will get rid of any air bubbles that may be trapped.
When the bamboo tile is covered cut off the remaining clay from the strip using your tissue blade.
Using your fingers and a needle tool, blend the seams of the clay together.
Press the blended seam of the bead onto the texture sheet. This will ensure you still have a fully textured bead rather than a ‘bald’ patch where there is no texture.
Carefully shave the excess clay off the ends of the bead using your tissue blade.
Blend the edges into your bead using your fingers.
Repeat steps 11 to 16 to create more bamboo tile beads.
Bake your beads according to manufacturer’s directions.
Ensure you have an accurate oven thermometer and bake for the correct amount of time or your beads will not cure properly.
Remove the beads from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
Using a brush, dab on the acrylic paint.
If you only want a subtle patina, water the paint down a little before applying it to your bead.
Wipe off the acrylic paint using a wet cloth or a baby wipe so that only paint remains in the impression of the clay.
It is up to you how much you choose to take off.
Let the paint dry completely.
Finish your beads according to your desire. You can rub them with renaissance wax for a subtle polish (as I have done) or you can use a varnish for more of a shine.
It is completely up to you!