Rainbow Filigree Lesson

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                Original tutorial by Mia Rox - February 2001

                   Updated and edited by Jeannie Havel - July 2012




You will be making this barrette and beaded bracelet!




  What you will need:


Step 1

For the colors, I used the cane ends of Skinner blends. If you don't have any cane ends, you can mix four parts colored clay to one part white clay and marble them. Flatten these into 1/2 ‘patties’. Make the yellow a little thicker and the green a little thinner.

Step 2

Take the purple patty and push it into the clay gun barrel. Take the plunger and twist and push it to the top ( not where you will attach the disc) I say to twist it because if you were to just push the clay it would stick to the plunger and not stay at the top of the barrel. Twisting it will keep it from sticking.

Do this with all colors. When you get the last color, done extrude your clay. You will probably need to extrude clay three or four times. It all depends on how big or small your piece is. If you find you don't have enough strands, later on you can always extrude some more.

Step 3

Next, you need to separate the strands that have come out of the barrel. There will be three kinds.

In the picture to the right, you will see some curly strands to the far right. These are worthless for this project (they are really neat, however, when rolled up in logs and used like a cane). The middle strands are the best! These will be called Good Strands. The blend in these strands shows all the colors of the rainbow. The strands on the left are going to be called OK Strands. They have only one good side blended well.

Step 4

Take one of the good strands and start a coil. It works best to start it in your hand and then stick it to your work surface to finish the coil. For the barrette I made six coils and a little tiny one to fill up the corner.





Step 5

After you have made you coils, your next step is to take some black Premo clay (for strength and durability. FIMO would work also) And run it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Then cut it out in an appealing shape. This one measures about 4" X 2".



Step 6

Place one swirl on the black sheet of clay starting in a corner. Then take one of your ‘OK strands’ and wrap it around the swirl within the barrette.


Then take your needle tool and make equally spaced indentations (see picture) Then place another strand next to the red one (or what ever color you used) and repeat. Your last placement for this swirl will be one that you do not make indentations in, such as the lavender/blue strand shown below. 






Step 7

Continue adding coils and making indentations until you have the entire barrette filled.



Step 8

Turn your barrette over and trim off the excess filigree.


Step 9

Now extrude some black Premo using your clay gun (this is optional. You can always roll it out by hand). Wrap the snake around the barrette and add Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) to adhere it to the edges.

Step 10

Take your barrette and unhinge the clasp part (the part that swings open and close). Apply some TLS to the back of your barrette finding (the side that curves down). Carefully apply the TLS to the barrette, but do use plenty so it can ooze through the holes.

For more strength, I take a small square of black Premo that has been through the pasta machine at a medium/thin setting. I apply some TLS to that as well. Then I place it between the bars inside the finding.

Step 11

Bake with the design facing up according to package directions and enjoy!


The Beads

 Step 1

Take some scrap clay and roll it into an even log. Mark the clay with a comb, then proceed to cut the log into equal lengths (the marks from the comb act as a ruler) and roll each piece into a ball. Your ball shapes will be approximately 3/8" to 1/2". It will depend on the length of your strands. The longer your strands, the larger the bead can be. The strands I used were 7" - 8" long.


Step 2

Place your ball on a needle to start. Start wrapping your clay strand into a swirl like you did for the barrette.

I start with the purple because that is the last color I load into the clay gun; therefore it will have the shortest color amount. Red will have the most. It won't show much if you have to cut off some of the red if the strand is too long.

When the bead is getting too awkward to hold and turn, take it off and gently hold it in your fingers to complete your swirls.

Next, apply just a slight bit of pressure to get the strand to stick to the ball underneath, then pierce a hole in the bead and bake according to package directions.

For the bracelet shown below, you will need approximately 17 to 20 beads, depending on the size of your bracelet.


Step 3

After your beads have cooled, take a length of stretchy nylon cord and cut it to a length that is right for your wrist. Most bracelets will be 7 1/2" - 8" long. To comfortably work with the cord, I use about 11". String your beads, knot off the cord, and trim the ends!!



Thanks to my good friend Kellie for all her filigree inspiration!!!


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