Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial: Polymer Clay Bead Basics Part 3- 6 More Bead Shapes

I hope you have enjoyed the first two installments of my Bead Basics tutorials.  This is the third one in the series.  You can find the first one (Covering a Core) here and the second one (5 Bead Shapes) here.

So in this one, I will show you 6 more basic bead shapes that all start with a ball.

Here we go:

Shape 1: Oval
Take a round bead between your hands and roll it straight back and forth, keeping your hands slightly cupped around the bead.  The more you roll, the skinnier your bead will be.

Pierce the bead lengthwise.  (Somehow I didn't get a photo of the hole.)  You can see more about piercing beads in my first Bead Basics tutorial here.

Shape 2: Football
For this shape, you start with a ball and shape it into an oval, as shown above.  Then pinch each side between two fingers on each hand (only one shown here).  Pinch a little, then turn the bead a little, pinch and turn until you have a football shape.  

Pierce the bead lengthwise...

... or across the end.

Shape 3:
For this one, make a football, then roll the middle between your fingers until it lengthens out a bit.  Pierce the bead across the end...

... or lengthwise. (It's almost too long to fit on the needle tool.)

Shape 4: Disc
Start with a ball.  Dust your work surface with a very small amount of cornstarch and place the bead on it.  Use something flat (also lightly dusted with cornstarch) to squash the bead into a disc shape.  I used the end of my acrylic roller.  

Squash it a little for a fat bead or a lot for a skinnier bead.  The cornstarch should keep the bead from sticking to anything.

Pierce the bead through the middle...

... or lengthwise.

Shape 5: Cube
Hold the bead as shown in the photo with two fingers of each hand opposite one another so you are holding four "sides" of the bead.  Press evenly on all four of the sides you are holding.  Give the bead a quarter turn and press on four other sides.  Turn and press, turn and press until you have a rounded cube shape.

Now pinch each of the edges tightly between two fingers on all sides of the bead, making the edges and corners good and sharp.  

This will press in the flat sides of the bead a little but we will fix that in the next step.

Now set the bead on your work surface and gently press down on it.  Give it a quarter turn and press again.  Do this over and over until you have a nice sharp cube shape.

Pierce the bead through two opposite flat sides...

... or through two opposite corners.  (My clay was pretty soft, so the cube wasn't as sharp as I would like it to be.)

Shape 6: Elongated Cube
Make the shape as for the cube above but don't press in as hard on two of the sides and press harder on the other four.  Pierce the bead lengthwise.

There you go!  Six more bead shapes to play with.  Next week will be some less basic shapes (but just as easy to do).


The "Bead Basics" Series of Tutorials:
Part 1: Covering a Core
Part 2: 5 Bead Shapes
Part 4: Covering a Core with a Solid Color
Part 5: Impressed Beads

No comments:

Post a Comment