Jewelry · Pendants

Tide Pool Pendant | Art Elements Challenge

The team at Art Elements hosts themed monthly challenges, which involve a reveal and blog hop at the end of the month. The theme for May is Tide Pools, picked by Lesley.

I had zero creativity during most of the first half of the month since I hadn’t been feeling well. But I started feeling better, ideas started swirling around in my mind, and I was even able to experiment with yet another new material for this project. So here we have it, a tide pool pendant using polymer clay, resin and alcohol inks –

Tide Pool Pendant - PolyClay and Resin

I’ve never seen a real tide pool, but there’s no dearth of beautiful tide pool pictures online, so I picked the elements I’d want in my pendant, and sketched the layout.

The pendant frame is a store-bought one, and is about 3cm (1.25″) long, so I had to make the sea creatures pretty small in order to still have space for the water. I hand-sculpted all of the creatures with Premo polymer clay.

The starfish started out as a pliable ball, from which I tweaked out arms. I did most of the shaping using my fingers and larger ball stylus tools. For the texturing, I used smaller ball stylus tools and a toothbrush. I added some chalk-based colors to highlight the textures. I love how this has turned out, and it’s a small inspiration to try out more sculpting (which I feel is not really up my alley.)

The purplish round creature below the starfish was intended to be a sea anemone, but it was a bit too small for my amateur hands to handle, and in the end, I just made a flat circular clay surface, scored it for some texture, and quickly brushed some chalk-based colors over it to add to the texture.

The small, pink, bowl-like creatures are the tops of sea sponges. For these, I used two shades of pink clay, and rolled tiny balls from them. I then used a ball stylus tool to shape the tiny balls into tiny bowls.

I arranged all these creatures on the pendant frame, and baked the setup for 25min.

For the ‘water’, I used ICE Resin, with tiny amounts of blue and green alcohol inks added in for the color. This is my first time working with resin, and I love it! I added the inks after completely mixing the 2 resin parts, and mixed the resin again to help the ink assimilate. After carefully pouring and prodding the resin into various nooks and crannies of the pendant, I also brushed the creatures with some of it to keep them wet and slimy. 😉

The only problems I have with resin are the cleanup (I got some on my clothes 😛 ), and the leftover resin that will need to be discarded since it can’t be stored for later use. Here’s a bonus pendant that I made using the extra resin from the current project, some glitter and a mold – it’s got nothing to do with the challenge, though. 🙂

Resin and Glitter Pendant

I adore both pendants, and love the resin-boost that this project has given me. Thank you, Lesley, for this inspiring theme!


If you’re curious to see what the AE team and the other guests have made for this challenge, go have a peek at their blogs!

Guests:    Raven       Kelly       Cat       Kathy       Tammy       Alyson       Elaine       Mischelle       Deborah       Anita (you are here)      Jill       Shirlee       Sarajo    •    Melissa

AE Team:   Caroline       Cathy       Claire       Jen       Laney       Lesley       Marsha       Niky       Sue       Lindsay    •    Jenny

40 thoughts on “Tide Pool Pendant | Art Elements Challenge

  1. Your tide pool pendant is amazing. It really looks likes it could’ve come straight from the sea. Magnificent.
    Great job on using all the excess resin.The bonus pendant is wonderful. It could be worn with almost anything. You’re very talented!

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  2. Anita – thank you for joining in our challenge. Your resin pendant is lovely and you got some really gorgeous colours shining through there. I also think your bonus pendant qualifies for the challenge since it has very aquatic colours and translucence. Well done.

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    1. Thank you for the wonderful theme, Lesley! You’re right, the bonus pendant works for the challenge in its own way. 🙂

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  3. I love your tide pool pendant. I can’t believe this is your first time using resin. Looks like you’re a pro already. It does tend to leave a mess. And I always forget to wear glove so I end up with sticky, messy fingers for days afterward.
    The elements you made with the polymer clay are perfect. I love how the ‘water’ covers some elements and some are only partially submerged. Brilliant placement. And I really love the necklace you made with the leftover resin. Such gorgeous colors!!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! I’m pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use resin (not considering the mess, of course.) I liked the idea of non-uniformity from partial submergence better, and I’m glad it worked out well. 🙂

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  4. Anita, I love your pendants! That starfish is awesome, you did a great job sculpting it! I love the colors too! I’ve never worked with resin either, you’ve inspired me to try it! Thanks for sharing what you made!

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    1. Thank you, Sue! I’m sure you’ll love resin too – it’s pretty easy to work with, even when you’re a first-timer! 🙂

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  5. Good for you trying something new! I think your tide pool pendant turned out great… the resin is such a nice touch to simulate the water with your sweet little starfish peeking out. I’m sure you’ll have more resin fun in the near future!

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    1. I hope to have lots of resin fun! This is one of those times when you wonder why you hadn’t ever used something before! 🙂

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    1. It kinda does feel like a tea party in a little garden, doesn’t it? A saner, sea-life-y version of Alice in Wonderland, if you will! 😉

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  6. I love how the tidepool pendant turned out! Its perfect and the resin TOTALLY lends itself well to your piece! Gorgeous!

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  7. I love that the starfish looks like it is emerging from the water and not just all “under glass” (or resin in this case). It gives the little piece great movement and texture! I actually think your second pendant follows the theme as well because of the color palette and sparkle of glitter like sun off the tide pool water! Lovely work.

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    1. Thank you Raven, I do like textures, and the current concept appealed to me more than a smooth surface – it would be a shame to submerge such a textured creature under resin. 😉 I’m glad it worked out!
      And I love how you see the second pendant – I agree, it does fit the theme!

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  8. What a lovely little tide pool pendant! I also think the second pendant fits to the theme, just using some colour inspirations! 🙂 I have a love/hate relationship with resin: I love the results but I hate the precautions and potential mess 😉

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    1. You echo my thoughts about resin – hope I learn to manage the ‘hate’ part of the relationship well – it’s too much fun to let go. 😉
      And I can see now how the second pendant works for this theme too!

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  9. Lovely pieces I really love how your little star fish peeps over the edge of the pendent, I found that I rather enjoy the use of resin this month too, normally I just use it as a glue but this month is an eye opener!

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    1. Thank you, Niky, I’m happy to see that the placement of the starfish works just as I’d intended. And yes, it looks like this is the month of resin at AE 🙂 – I absolutely adore your ring dish!

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  10. Both pendants are lovely. I tried two-part resin once. A long time ago. It was too much fuss and mess for me but I do love the effects you got with it. I have trouble sculpting tiny things with polymer clay as well. It feels as if my hands are 5 times larger and are not connected to my brain at all. So I mostly stick with medium-sized sculpting and less-than-lifelike results. 🙂

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    1. 5 times larger, lol, yes that’s exactly how I feel. It was very satisfying when I did manage to get tiny things done, though. 🙂 Your sculpting and color use are awesome, and I hope to catch more glimpses of your work.

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    1. Thank you! Oh yes, the results are definitely worth it, and it’s easier to use than I’d thought, so what’s not to like? 🙂

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    1. Thank you, I’m happy the colors work! I didn’t have many expectations from the experiments, but to my relief, they turned out well.

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  11. You have inspired me!! I have some of those pendant blanks and have tried resin before but mine was not a success! I love how the starfish pokes out to give so much depth and texture. Your ‘left over’ resin pendant is really lovely too.

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    1. Thank you, Laney! I’m glad this little experiment was inspiring. Hope your future resin attempts turn out to be pleasant surprises. 🙂

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  12. I am so glad you got your creativity back (and that you started feeling better too!) I love both pendants and it would have been a shame for them not to have been brought into the world. Thank you for participating in another challenge and for reading AE! Hope to see you in future challenges!

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    1. Thank you, Jen! I’m thrilled to see them turn out the way they did. And I’m definitely looking forward to all the challenges.

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