Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beginner Basics Kids' Class - Marbled Bead Bracelet

My goal with this homeschool polymer clay class is to expose the kids to the versatility of polymer clay, so we're doing a wide variety of basic projects and techniques.  The second lesson will be marbled beads that can be strung to make a bracelet.

One of the things I had to figure out with this class is how to efficiently hand out the clay.  This is what I came up with:

Each of these balls is one tenth of an ounce.  I used my tiny scale to weigh each one.  (It might have been quicker to do some math and roll out blocks and cut them but for various reasons, that wasn't an option.) The bigger chunks are the scraps from last week that need to be re-weighed.  Each week, I will know exactly how much clay I want the kids to have and I can tell them to "pick 6 balls of any color" or "choose 4 black balls, 2 brown ones, and 1 green" or whatever.  It is a lot of work to prepare the balls but I got my kids to help while we watched TV and that made it go waaay faster.

So, here's this week's project:

This lesson is intended to teach the kids about marbling (and what happens if you go too far), forming basic shapes and bead piercing.

3 balls each of 2 colors of clay (about 1/3 ounce of each color)
stretchy cord
spacer beads
super glue

tissue blade
needle tool

This looks like a long tutorial but it's actually really simple. I just took lots of photos.

So here's the clay:

Mash the matching balls together and roll them into short logs.

Slice up the logs.

Pull the slices apart and pile them randomly on the work surface.

Squash them together into a ball...

... and roll it into a log.

Twist the log...

... and fold it in half.

Twist again...

... and roll again.

Fold in half...

... twist, roll out, fold in half, twist...

and roll into a log one more time.  Roll it to 8 inches long and cut into 16 pieces 1/2 inch long each.

The cut ends are marbled differently than the sides.  You can leave them as is or you can hide the ends.

If you want to hide them, pinch the sides gently toward each other...

... until they touch. Press them together firmly.

Round the points.

Do the ends of all of the pieces.

Roll them all into balls.

Form the beads into shapes. We're going to do four rounds, four cubes, four ovals, and four disks,

Pierce the beads and bake. (I'm using Fimo Soft and baking at 265 degrees for 20 minutes.)

String the beads on elastic cord with spacer beads between.

Tie a tight knot.

Get someone to hold the knot tight and put a drop of superglue on it.  Trim the ends of the elastic and you're done!


No comments:

Post a Comment