Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Faceted Bead Tutorial

Geez, it's been forever since I've blogged.

My son passed the GED with great scores.  That's a load off my mind.  It's great to be officially free of lower education.  That was quite the ridiculous journey.  If anyone reading this happens to be in a dire situation with public school and considering homeschool or something alternative to a public education, my advice is to burn every bridge and don't look back.  It doesn't get better.  But I'm jaded.

Whatever the case, we're looking forward to college classes around here.  Seems unbelievable.  I feel like we were just reading Magic Treehouse books.  Anyway...

I am quite pleased to announce that I was asked by Sculpey to write a tutorial for their website demonstrating the technique I use to make the polymer clay faceted beads.  Now you can try your hand at it!  You can find the tute here: http://www.sculpey.com/projects/rustic-faceted-bead-bracelet

There's also a bracelet tutorial along with it.  This is the bracelet featured therein.
The directions there feature the seafoam and turquoise beads originally made by request for Miss Melissa Manley, author of the absolutely fabulous book, Jewelry Lab, which is stuffed with genius techniques (the plastidip is my favorite.  I have a can just waiting to be used..)   This is why I so much love custom orders and why I try to say 'yes' to requests as much as I am able.  I probably would not have come up with these colors on my own--I was fine with the black and white--but look how smart it all turned out.  They ended up catching the eye of Sculpey.

So, if you do try the technique and you want to use the Sculpey blade to make the cuts, you're going to get an effect on the facets that is a bit more concave, sculptural, and overall just gives the bead a bit more dimension than the ones in my shop.  I like both effects.  I use a regular loose razor blade to make the ones in my shop--it gives a flatter surface to the facets.  It's a trade off I suppose.  If I made mine in smaller batches I would probably be more inclined to use the Sculpey blade for variety and more texture because I think it photographs nicer too and that's always good at Etsy.

But it's just that slightly more difficult due to managing the longer blade and it's more taxing on my hands.  It probably wouldn't even be a blip on the radar for someone with normal hands, though.  So, try both blades if you've got them and see what you prefer.  I'm rambling.

I'm still stuck on grey.  I wanted to show off a couple things I made using items from the shadow exchange box.  I happened to get a TON of new supplies all at the same time when the box arrived, so I don't even have it all out of the box yet, but I pulled out some plastic silver bicones that I love and also this amazing locket that is just so great.  Who put the lockets in?  I love them.

                                                 The bicones are just used as-is here.

                                             In these, I decided to distress them a bit.  Here are the faceted beads in a teardrop shape I haven't shown yet.  I've got a million faceted things I haven't shown yet.

Here's some grey.  The metal beads are from Dollar Bead (except the rose bead) and so are the matte grey glass beads.  This is one of the lockets from the shadow box, all patinaed.  I haven't listed it yet because I realized I forgot to snap photos of the back and locket innards.  I'm leaving it empty.  I think.  We'll see.


  1. Just found your shop and blog! Just bought a pair of earrings, too. : ) Love your work, look, etc. Had to share on my Facebook page so others could see what I'm seeing!

  2. Hi Janet, welcome and thanks! Just saw your order--so glad those earrings are going to a good home. They're featured in Jewelry Affaire magazine right now, too!

  3. I love those faceted beads. Congratulations on writing a tutorial for Sculpey, thats fantastic!! xoxo Juliette

  4. Thanks, Juliette--it feels like a pretty bigtime deal and I'm really excited about it for so many reasons. I've always recommended using Sculpey because it's simply the best clay I think so it feels great to have been approached by them and also to promote a product I really love.

  5. I just got the giveaway package in my mail today. Your faceted beads are even lovelier in person. Now you've made a tutorial and I can't wait try making my own! :)

    I added that locket to the exchange box and knew someone would work their magic to make it charming. It looks much cooler with your patina work. I love the blacks and grays in that piece.

    Thanks again for the giveaway and sharing your beautiful work.

  6. I'm so glad you are pleased with the beads--you're very welcome. I would LOVE to see your faceted beads if you make some. Thank you so much for putting the locket in--it was my favorite thing in the box. Were the other lockets from you as well? There were some real treasures in the box!

  7. I'm not surprised they asked you write the tutorial your faceted beads are wonderful - I've tried to make complex shaped beads but I just don't think I have the patience. My son is 15 and we are just now starting to contemplate things like college - I find it hard to do without having a panic attack. Kate

  8. Kate--I am with you on that. I literally do have panic attacks over it all.

    You should try the faceted beads--it really is much simpler than it would seem looking at the final outcome. they pracically make themselves and it's like magic when you get to the painting step.

  9. Behind on my comments... That is big deal to do the tute for sculpey... Glad to see that is your clay fo choice.. I'm going to try the facet bead from your tute... Lockett? Locket? Never saw those ....

  10. Hi, this could be a duplicate, sort of confusing-sorry. I was asking if your faceted bead tutorial is available in any other ways as it is still not available on Sculpy.com. Love the beads, and it would be a great addition to my recent interest in Faceted Beads. Thanks, Boni

    1. Hi Boni--email me: shipwreckdandy@yahoo.com or convo me at Etsy--my shops are on the blog sidebar here up and to the right.