Friday, February 10, 2017

Resin and Charm Cabezel Polymer Clay Tutorial

By on Friday, February 10, 2017 4 Comments

Shades of Clay's wonderful CaBezels unleashes a lot of creative ideas because you are no longer limited to metallic bezels.  With polymer clay, you can make bezels in different colors and shapes. While the CaBezels were designed with polymer clay artists in mind, you are definitely not limited to that medium. This tutorial shows how you can fill the Cabezel with resin! This single bake option means you do not have to make the cabochon part.




I reviewed the Cabezels for the giveaway earlier this week. (Wendy is offering a wonderful discount for readers - 10% off with no minimum.  Use this code : bgem10). These are the two Cabezels I experimented with. 


I recommend this Premo Sculpey Multipack (you can also get it from Michaels and other stores) if you are just starting out and want to play with the colors!  If the colors seem over bright to you, there is an easy fix.  Just mix them with another color. See the bright red below? I mixed some of that with the brown (2:1 ratio) and that resulted in a lovely terra cotta color.  The gold with black (2:1 ratio) yields a beautiful vintage brass color.


But my absolute favorite is the Fimo Effect Polymer Clay which I used to demonstrate how I made the Cabezels.

First condition the clay.  You do need a pasta machine for this. I have this inexpensive model. You cannot do without this equipment as it is way too laborious otherwise. I ran the clay through several times, first at the largest setting then dropped it to the middle one.  You also mix the clay colors the same way. I used the sheet doubled over.


You can either work on a ceramic or glass tile, a piece of parchment paper or even wax paper. The tile and sometimes the wax paper will leave shiny spots on the underside. (You can get those off with acetone afterward baking).  I like parchment paper the best as it is designed for baking. I generally fill the baking tray with several rectangles of paper, each holding a Cabezel piece, for simultaneously baking. You can use regular paper or cardstock but make sure you put definitely put those on a baking tray before inserting into the oven. Otherwise the paper could accidentally slip down onto the hot element and ignite.

I flatten the double clay sheet by rolling it a bit.


Then spray some water as a mold release.


Then turn the mold upside down and make an impression.  You may have to experiment and practice a bit to figure out a good way to get crisp edges. I found I liked to begin by rolling on the mold first then holding the roller upright as below to exert enough force. Work evenly everywhere.


The goal is to get even rims. The black CaBezel on the right was an early attempt where the rims were uneven.


Then cut out the frames.  The best way is to use the cutting blade rather than an X-acto knife. The blade gives quick clean cuts, especially with the rectangles and squares.  You do not have to cut it right at the rim but a bit further away for a bigger frame.


Tap down the corners of the angular shapes to make them blunt. Otherwise you will have to do a little sanding after curing.

If you have round cookie cutters, the round CaBezels will be easy! They do not have to be the same size. Here I used a larger round cutter to make a frame on this CaBezel.


You can do the same with ovals. I did not have oval cutters so I used the blade instead. The blade can also be used for irregular shapes.


I do have a separate toaster oven for baking clay. These ovens are notoriously inaccurate as the temperature dial is a crude one. So I use an oven thermometer to check. Don't worry about being exact as the clay bakes just as well +/- 5 degrees from the recommended temperature of the clay type.


Once baked and cool, you can sand any rough edges.  I use wet and dry sandpaper. This granite look clay did not need it but you could also sand and buff up your clay so it is a little shinier.


Then it is on to playing with some charms and coming up with designs.


I used Little Windows' Brilliant Resin - this is an excellent jewelry grade (low bubble producer) resin that is completely colorless with a long shelf life. You can also use ICE Resin which is also a low bubble producer.  A good tip is to microwave just Part A for about 5-7 seconds BEFORE mixing. This also helps to reduce bubbles.


After mixing the resin according to the instructions, fill the bezel with just enough resin to cover the bottom. DO NOT overfill.


I used this lovely antique silver  heart charm from TierraCast's Celtic Collection which I had previously received for review. I then added some glitter to the resin.




You can also color the resin.  I used Little Windows' white resin colorant. Alternatively use a little white oil paint - it works but takes longer to mix in thoroughly as it is not really designed for resin.


I cut off the loop from this cat charm.


I added some opaque blue resin pigment and a drop of Little Windows' white resin pigment for this vivid blue charm pendant.


This is another gorgeous antique Celtic heart charm from TierraCast's Celtic Collection.


This cross charm had to be propped up.  I laid the charm across the CaBezel which meant the lower stem of the cross would sink in. So I added a round ball of blue tack so it would not do so. The blue tack is hidden under the cross and is not visible as the blue resin covers it up too!




I also mixed in a little white with metallic pigment powder, the copper from Ranger Perfect Pearls Embellishment Pigment Kit


This time I laid the charm diagonally on a square bezel.  This lovely cast pewter in a copper color is from TierraCast 's Celtic collection - the open triskele. This triple spiral or triskelion is an ancient symbol used in many cultures.


You can also use other components like bead caps and bits of leftover wire as I did for this vintage brass look CaBezel.  I used 20G Parawire in gold.


ADDITIONAL TIPS

It is important not to over fill with resin.  I failed to notice I had overdone it for this pink and black pendant and it cured like this. The charm is clearly lopsided and the resin was spilling over the rims of the CaBezel. If you accidentally over fill, fish out the charm at once. Clean it up with a rubbing alcohol soaked paper towel and you're good to go again. By removing the charm, you would have removed some resin!


You'll notice that I always used a little white resin color to all the colored projects.  The white helps to make the color pop! Here is what happened with I didn't do so with a purple metallic mica powder project.  Dull, isn't it?

Notice the rim is shiny here and there?  That is some resin spillage.  If this happens, you can varnish your piece after the resin cures to even things out.  Use a water soluble varnish from the woodwork section of any hardware store. Varathane is a good make.


You can cut off the loops of charms if you prefer.


Use a file to remove the rough edges the best you can.


Disclosure
I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Photography
I used natural light, my iPhone 6S with the ProCamera app and the Modahaus TS400 tabletop studio and the rostrum stand (overhead) for final product photography. The tutorial pictures were taken with the same equipment but with artificial lights in my windowless basement studio. Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .

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4 comments:

  1. What a genius idea to take both medias and successfully combine to make such pretty pendants­čśä Thank you for inspiring me.

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  2. This is certainly a different way to use CaBezels Pearl!
    What a great take on a great idea!

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  3. I love it!!! Got to try this asap! Thanks for the great tut.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing a great idea, Pearl. I tend to overfill when working with found objects or unorthodox bezels and frustrate myself in the process. I am also guilty of pouring colors right from the bottle and sometimes they end up very dull. so thanks for all the useful tips, now I know what to do

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