Beads · Earrings · Jewelry

Kaleidoscopic Earrings

Sometimes, an idea strikes you, and regardless of whether you know how to execute it or not, it persists. That’s just what happened this month when a concept for a pair of earrings popped into my mind, which would work for not one but two challenges! I didn’t know if it would work out, but I did know I had to try. So these are the earrings I made using polymer clay, and they’re mostly true to how I envisioned them in my mind. That means happy times!

Kaleidoscopic Polymer Clay Earrings | Anita

This project also marks my attempting canes after a long hiatus from when I tested the caning waters. I used simple colors and simple patterns for the cane – nothing too ambitious until I get better at it. πŸ˜‰ The cane turned out pretty usable, but there’s some distortion from the reduction, and I’ll need to figure out how to avoid that. The slicing also resulted in some distortion, and I learned later that I should let it cool well before I start slicing. (Lesson to remember for the future.)

As for the making of the beads – I tried out a different hollow bead concept since I knew I was going to use cane slices on the bead. I covered large, metallic beads in brown-black Premo clay – also ensuring that I poked holes in the clay to match the ones in the underlying beads. I baked the beads, and then sliced them into hemispheres so I could remove the metallic beads. I then used some liquid Sculpey to adhere the halves back together, also sticking the cane slices in a kaleidoscopic pattern along the join using more liquid clay. Another round of baking, and the beads were done!

Well not fully done, of course. I wanted to glaze them, and tried out some Vintaj Glaze for the first time. I loved it when I initially applied it, but after a day or two, I find that it’s a bit sticky, so I guess it’s not viable.

Anyway, continuing with the earrings – now I only had to add in other beads into the mix. I used beads and headpins to make simple embellishments revolving around the color scheme of the focal beads, put them all together, and voila! we have super-lightweight earrings.


With these earrings, I’m participating in these challenges –

  • Art Bead Scene Studio’s June monthly challenge, which features an oil painting, Les Ibis, by Jean Metzinger. Jean’s role in Cubism inspired me to go with the cane-based concept, and the colors and the nature theme definitely contributed.

ABS Challenge June 2018 Inspiration

  • Earrings Everyday’s We’re All Ears challenge, which features Kaleidoscopes as the inspiration for June. And who hasn’t been mesmerized by those? πŸ™‚ I used mirroring of cane slices for the pattern on the beads, inspired by those in kaleidoscopes. I’m also pretty excited since it’s my first time participating in this challenge! πŸ™‚ This is a blog hop, so do check out the entries from other participants by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.

    We're All Ears Challenge June InspirationPowered by Linky Tools
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17 thoughts on “Kaleidoscopic Earrings

    1. It’s funny how canes just automatically pop into mind for the theme. πŸ™‚ This project is definitely one small step for me towards making better canes.

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  1. Bravo for giving it a try! I watched some videos about kaleidoscope cane and decided I cannot do it πŸ™‚ Yours turned out beautifully and how fun is it that they match both challenges! In one of my pathetic trials with polymer, I tried decoupage water based varnish and it remained sticky, too. Just that you know πŸ˜‰

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    1. I agree, a ‘real’ kaleidoscope cane involves much more work, and I decided to go easy on myself. πŸ˜‰
      And thank you for sharing your experience with the water-based varnish, I’ll keep that in mind!

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  2. Wonderful earrings. It’s fun to have a project come out the way you enviioned it.
    Your cane work is great. Your method for making the beads with a metallic bead it ingenious.
    Great way to knock out two challenges at once. πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you, E.C.! It’s indeed satisfying to see one’s vision not get completely destroyed upon execution. πŸ˜€ Hopefully, any future canes that I’ll make will incorporate the lessons I learned and notes I jotted down this time.

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  3. What a coincidence Anita! I am using polymer clay charms as well (Thought I did not make them) and I am combing it with the art beads scene challenge as well

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    1. You said it Sri, that’s what makes things fun. Even if a project didn’t turn out great, any amount of learning from it still makes it worthwhile. πŸ™‚

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