Hollow Lentil Bead – Polymer Clay Tutorial
I am going to show you How to make a Hollow Lentil Bead out of Polymer Clay, just like the one I used to make this Celtic Flower Necklace.
For this Polymer Clay Tutorial your will need:
- A conditioned sheet of Polymer Clay
- Ceramic Tile Work Surface
- Sharp Exacto Knife
- Polymer Clay Cutting Blade
- Circle Cutter 1″ inch or larger
- Plastic Cling Wrap
- Household Light Bulb
- Glass votive Candle Holder or Shot Glass
- Cloth backed Sandpaper 600 – 1500 grits
- Eye Pin or Jewelry Wire for Bail Loop
- Lisa Pavelka Poly Bonder Hi-Temp Adhesive (You can use super glue as an alternative adhesive only if you will NOT be baking your bead again. I usually bake my glaze on, so I don’t use super glue).
I am going to use the sheet of clay that I conditioned, and prepared in my previous tutorial post “Polymer Clay Mica Shift Tutorial”.
You may use any polymer clay you wish for this technique. Be sure that your sheet of polymer clay has been properly conditioned and rolled out evenly on your thickest pasta machine setting. You can roll out your clay with a clay roller if your do not have a pasta machine. You can use wood skewers as guides to roll your sheet of clay out to an even thickness.
Lay your sheet of polymer clay flat on your ceramic work surface. For beveled edges place a piece of Plastic Cling Wrap over your sheet of polymer clay before cutting out your circles with your circle cutter.
Cut 2 circles the same size out of your sheet of clay for each hollow bead that you are going to be making. I also cut out teardrops for another project that I am working on at the same time.
Remove the plastic cling wrap, then Peal away the excess clay leaving your cut circles on the tile.
Gently slide your polymer clay blade under your cut circle. Rock your blade gently from side to side while sliding it under the clay being very careful not to distort your circles.
We are going to use a household light bulb as our lentil bead form. A glass votive candle holder was used to keep the light bulb upright while baking the clay. You may use whatever works for you.
Place your cut circle of clay on your Lightbulb carefully pressing and smoothing your clay down from the center out.
Make sure not to trap any air under your clay as you smooth it down on your light bulb.
I like to place my light bulbs and candle holders in a baking pan to bake them.
Preheat your clay oven. It is a good idea to have an oven thermometer to check your oven temperature. Most thermostats on small ovens are not very accurate, they tend to spike before leveling off. I check my oven temperature over a period of time before I put my clay in to bake.
The baking pan gives me a place to support a foil tent to protect my clay from burning. It also makes it easier to move the clay in and out of the oven. Bake according to your polymer clay directions. Premo Sculpey Clay bakes at 275 degrees. I like to bake my clay for 40 – 60 minutes.
Let your clay cool, then remove the clay from the light bulb forms. If your polymer clay sticks to the light bulb you can rinse it in cool water to help break it free, then just peel it off of the light bulb.
Now the real fun begins, Sanding. Pour a little water on your 600 grit cloth backed Sandpaper before you begin sanding. You can also use a container with water in it to wet sand your bead.
After sanding the edges flat, Check to make sure your bead halves fit together nicely. When you are happy with the fit, Mark the center of the top of your bead halves. I use a small round file to push between the bead halves to mark both sides of the inside of my bead at the same time.
Make a bail loop out of jewelry wire or you can use a pre-formed eye pin for your bail if you like. When using an eye pin I like to bend the inside end of the eye pin up to help keep it from being pulling out of the bead.
Cut a Notch on the inside edge of each half of your bead that is large enough for your wire bail to sit in with a sharp Exacto knife.
Brush the flat edge of 1/2 of your hollow bead with a Hi Temp brush on adhesive such as Lisa Pavelka’s Poly Bonder. Brush a little extra adhesive in the notched area that you have just cut out of your bead. Place your wire bail in the notch on one side of your bead. Carefully place the 2 halves of your bead together making sure your wire bail stays in place. Press all the edges of your lentil bead neatly together. Hold tightly for a minute or two until the adhesive sets.
After your glued bead has had plenty of time to dry, it’s time for more sanding. Sand the glued edges of your bead until they are even and smooth. I used a 600 grit sandpaper to sand the glued edge of my bead.
Finish Sanding your bead using multiple grits of cloth backed sandpaper. I used 800 – 1500 grit sandpapers. Be careful not to over sand your Mica Shift design. I like to place my sandpaper on top of a sponge, but the palm of your hand works well too.
Once you have sanded your beads to perfection, it is time to Buff your beads. I like to buff my beads with white denim. I cut the legs off of an old pair of white jeans to make a buffing cloth. I just slide it up my leg and buff away.
Here is my finished Lentil Bead. I baked a shiny clear finish coat on this bead after I finished buffing it. I will share my polymer clay bead glazing technique in an upcoming LaLindaArtStudio Polymer Clay Tutorial.
Celtic Necklace that I made with my Polymer Clay Hollow Lentil Bead.