When I first spotted Shades of Clay's cabezel clay molds, I could instantly see their potential.  The molds allow you to create both the pendant bezel as well as the insert cabochon. You can have a lot of fun with creating unique art pieces.  Bonus point - if you also make the bails out of clay and use, say simple leather cords with no metal findings, the jewelry pieces will be ideal for those who are metal allergic!

Wendy launched her new cabezel collection recently. She called them holy cabezels as they all have holes in them!  Watch her demo and see the amazing ideas for these molds!

There are several different shapes available - all of which have a modern, funky style.  I received the Evelyn for review.   I put this cabezel mold through its paces. The difference with the previous cabezels I used is the hole. Would having holes in the middle might affect the molding process? 

Evelyn Cabezel Mold
In my previous tutorial, I made polymer clay cabezels but filled them with resin rather than make polymer clay. This time, I also tested out the mold with resin clay.

Making the bezel out of polymer clay works better than with resin clay. The former is not as firm as polymer clay so it was hard to get crisp edges.  So I stuck with polymer clay bezels. I conditioned the Premo polymer clay with my pasta machine set at the thickest setting.  You do have to spray the mold with water to act as a release.  The benefit of these translucent mold is you can see through and be able to position the mold correctly over the clay.

Wendy likes using the X-acto knife for cutting. I find I got better results if I bend the tissue blade and cut most of the shape out that way.

I used the knife to finish up the corners.

One of Wendy's suggestions is to cut out the inside shape when the polymer clay is fresh out of the oven. I much preferred to do the cutting before baking. The clay is softer and easier to cut this way. But one needs care to keep the edges neat when doing so.  Do not distort them.  I used both the knife and a blunt tool.  

All the pendant frames were baked according to the clay manufacturer's instructions. (If you are new to polymer clay, work on small pieces of parchment paper.  These make it easier to transfer to the oven.)  You can also use glass tiles but these will leave shiny spots at the back after baking.

I had fun with simple embellishments when it came time to make the cabochons.  For this blue and gold pendant, I rolled out some blue polymer clay - again using the thickest setting on the machine. Then dabbed with both blue and gold Jacquard Pearl Ex powders. Tip - get make-up sponges from the dollar store!

I also used a stencil which I bought from a local art store. I rolled out some purple polymer clay, placed the stencil and then dabbed with a mixture of blue, purple and metallic silver Jacquard Pearl Ex powders. 

One very important finding about using Cabezels. It is better to bake one half of the piece first.  This reduces distortion problems. I baked the pendant bezels first before making the cabochons. When I added the fresh unbaked cabochons, there is a gap (see picture below where the blade tip is pointing). This is easy to fix - I gently pressed down on the cabochon - evenly until the gap disappeared.   Then I took the piece to the oven for baking. 

If you are using a stenciled pattern or millefiori/cane design, bake the cabochon first. This way, the pattern is not distorted when you gently press the unbaked bezel closer. 

The next test was with resin clay. I used smaller pre-colored resin epoxy clay.  You can use white or natural resin clay and tint it with oil paints, alcohol inks (the alcohol evaporates), resin colorants but the results are more muted.

Create two even sized balls of Part A and B and thoroughly mix them up. I didn't like the green so I added a bit of blue oil paint to change the shade. 

Since resin clay is adhesive, I pressed tiny glass beads into it. No baking is necessary. Just cover and let it cure overnight.

I added a couple of coats of Varathane (water- based, diamond wood finish, outdoor - available at hardware stores) to all the finished pieces, drying covered up, in between coats.

Then I made some easy wire bails (see tutorial here) using Parawire.  I used E6000 to glue them on.

You could also use regular glue-on bails.

I also made my own coiled wire ends using 16 G and 20 G Parawire for my thick leather cords- see this tutorial I wrote about. And added some lovely Tierracast charms which I received for a previous review!

If you'd like to win this giveaway for one Shades of Clay Holy Cabezel Jewelry Mold of your choice, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, November 20, 2017. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

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

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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