Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

My first project in the PCA art retreat. And my first batch of improvisations to compensate for lack of supplies where I live. 😉

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

This project uses the invisible spool knitting technique of wire crochet to embellish organic polymer clay beads with a delicate wire mesh, creating teardrop-shaped earrings and pendant. The wire crochet technique is used to create a fine necklace as well.

I could make the beads without much hassle. (Thanks to my sis for lending me her supplies to add the shine on them.) However, I can’t find the fine wire needed for the project here. So I used what I could lay my hands on — a thicker gauge wire.

Now, this wire does not really hold its shape while I work on it, so I couldn’t use the invisible spool knitting technique. I did regular crochet instead, which makes for a thicker mesh.

The wire mesh is also not the least bit delicate — if anything, it’s strong and yet springy 🙂 — but I wanted to work with it instead of trying to force it to be something it wasn’t, so I made the pieces look more traditional Indian instead of modern, by adding more wire-crocheted accompaniments for the earrings. Instead of making a fine necklace, I made a tube that a cord (or a seed-bead necklace) can be strung into.

And I also made a tiny piece that I added as a charm to an old scrunchy bracelet that I’d made. 🙂

So many improvisations! Love the results! ❤ ❤

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Paper beads, seed beads

I still use the paper bead bunch keychain that I made, and I still love it. Using the keychain made me want to churn out more of those beads. Here’s what that urge resulted in —

Paper beads, seed beads

Chillin’ out!

I don’t want to make another keychain out of these, though. I wonder how I can use them… I’m thinking they’d do well accentuating a yarn-based project. Any other ideas?

Macramé charm

A long time ago, when I was about to travel abroad, I made some simple tassel tags to attach to my bags. When I rediscovered macramé, though, simple tassels just wouldn’t do anymore, would they? I started being on the lookout for things to attach tag charms to so I can make said charms using macramé. 😀

Macrame Tag CharmThis is one such charm. I didn’t really have any shape in mind when I made it, I just double-half-hitch-knotted away. When it was done and I showed it to my sister, I thought it looked like a fish, and she thought it resembled a squid. 🙂

For this charm, I started out with one strand of color A attached at its center to a jump ring using a reverse lark’s head knot. Then I added a new strand of a different color — using the new strand as a horizontal anchor, I made double half-hitch knots from the already-attached strands. 4 more strands followed in a similar fashion, color A always alternating with random other colors. By now, the piece was sufficiently wide. (You may choose fewer or more strands as you prefer.)

I then began knotting double-hitch knots in a laterally symmetrical manner, that is, using the two center strands as anchors towards the edges, or using the two edge strands as anchors towards the center; all strands on each side make double half-hitch knots along their anchor. I first knotted towards the edges, then towards the center, and then on, always towards the edges. (I made sure the center strands were crossed every time, so there’s no long gaping hole along the middle.)

Eventually, when the piece got long enough, I began increasing the thickness of the anchor cord by adding a just-knotted strand to the existing anchor, which would together form the anchor for the next knot. This also had the effect of bringing all the strands together towards the center as a bunch, which I could then collectively bind tight in a series of square knots. I finally snipped the ‘tail’ or ‘tentacles’ (depending on which animal you think it looks like) to a compatible length.

I’d like the tag to be easily removable so I just knotted a longish double-strand around the jump ring (Remember I used it to start the piece?)

Ta da!

Macrame Tag Charm

Paper bead bunch keychain

Yay, paper beads are back in my jewelry-making!

Paper bead bunch keychainI spent some time recently making paper beads. I used some junk-mail paper for these. I didn’t really have any sizes in mind, I just wanted to make two sets of beads — one set smaller than the other.

I cut rectangles from the paper, 4 of the same dimensions, and 2 of smaller dimensions. I folded each rectangle diagonally and cut it along the diagonal, giving me 8 large and 4 small right-angled triangles. I rolled them up into simple tapered beads, applying glue at regular intervals to keep the rolls snug.

When the bead bases were made, I painted gradients of acrylic colors onto them. Mod podge followed when the paint dried. The beads were now ready!

I then strung these paper beads and various seed beads through head pins, making eye loops at the top of the headpins. These formed individual units of the bead-bunch.

Finally, for the trunk of the bunch that extends into a chain, I joined small jump rings. While I was adding each link, I also added the bead-bunch units, larger ones at the beginning / bottom. That went — open jump ring, insert it into the topmost jump ring of the chain-in-progress, insert bead-bunch unit #1 from one end of the open jump ring, insert bead-bunch unit #2 from the other end of the open jump ring, close jump ring, repeat.

I just love this keychain! It’s so fun-looking and so light! Needless to say, I’ve already swapped out the earlier chain in my car keys for this one. 🙂

Tiny bead earrings and not-so-tiny charm

Tiny earrings and charmTiny earrings — they have their own kind of charm, don’t they? 🙂 I made these earrings using small head pins, and each of them has one seed bead, one brown-and-crimson glass bead and one faceted bead. Nothing special here, I just strung the beads onto the head pin, made an eye loop and snipped off the extra wire. For the findings, I used a limited set that I own; these findings are shorter than the ones I usually use.

Of course, I feel earrings without other matching adornments get kinda lonely, so I made a bracelet / pendant charm. I didn’t really like how it turned out when I used the same kind of beads I used for the earrings, so I changed things a little and used a large(r) faceted bead instead of the smaller ones — I added it as the center of the charm. Since the small faceted beads were not in the picture anymore, I added a couple more seed beads for length. I strung them all onto a wire, made eye loops at both ends, and bent the wire into a curve.

They look so happy together they’ve formed a smiley face. ;P

Pearly set

Since I’m resigned to the fact that I only have access to limited kinds of wire to make jewelry, I’ve been thinking of ways to use all of the stuff that my sister had bought a long, long time ago. And on a leisurely day recently, I made this pearly jewelry set —

Pearly Earrings

Pearly Earrings

Pearly Pendant

Pearly Pendant

Pearly Charm

Pearly Charm

I used large pearl beads (about 1.5cm in diameter), bead caps, head pins and jump rings for these pieces. And of course, earring findings for the dangles. I only had to string the pearl beads and the bead caps on the head pins, and make eye loops from the wire, so the set came out pretty quickly. I think the longest time amongst them all was for shaping the wire for the pendant hook. (Man are those head pins hard…) I then decided to add a jump ring to it so it’s not really a hook now, it’s a decorative addition.

I’m glad I chose these bead caps — they make the pieces look somewhat traditional, don’t they?

Flowery bracelet charm

Gosh has it been a long time since I made some jewelry! I’ve been looking for thicker gauge wire here in Bangalore / India, but my net is still empty, and I’m taking a break from the search now. Meanwhile, I’ve not tried to create more jewelry with the same old coils of wire I have — every idea that comes to me (both from within and without) is either followed by a ‘been there, done that’ reaction, or requires equipment that is difficult to procure here.

Not thinking about jewelry ideas and not creating pieces should free up some time, right? In theory, yes, but in reality, I don’t know where that time disappears, because my life seems busier than ever, although at the end of each day I can’t figure out what I really did that day. Like air rushing in to fill up vacuum, I guess mundane stuff has rushed in to fill up free time. I’ve been thinking of making some paper jewelry but not really getting to it; now is probably the time to shake off those cobwebs…

Speaking of ‘been there, done that’ — remember these flowery earrings I made a while back:
Flowery earringsI decided to make a companion piece to the earrings — a charm that I can attach to a bracelet. I made it the same way I made the earrings (click on the earrings for details on how), except I also added a second, independent eye loop at the opposite end.

Flowery bracelet charm

Flowery bracelet charm

I made the eye loop by first choosing the two beads between which I wanted that loop. 😛 I cut a small length of wire and passed it below the wire connecting the two beads. I wound one end of the wire around its other end to secure it, and shaped the other end into a loop. I then snipped off the extra lengths, of course. It was a bit more difficult than the other eye loop because there’s nothing to secure your wire while you work with it, but it’s not so difficult that one cannot manage it! 🙂

What do you think? Perfect match, or not really? Would you make it differently?