Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Make an Adjustable Slider Bead for a Necklace Cord - Tutorial

Our sockeye salmon pieces are packed and ready to be delivered to the artisan market at the Salmon Festival tomorrow which starts this Friday.  One of the salmon themed items we have created to sell there is a pendant strung on the softglass cord.  We wanted the necklace to be suitable for both men and women as well as adjustable so we created a slider type bead that also has our signature logo stamp on it.

This is how to make an adjustable clay slider bead for softglass or buna cord:

Step 1:
To find the correct hole size, we matched the cord up with a pair of knitting needles that were the same thickness.  For example, the photo below shows the olive green softglass cord as the same  thickness as size 12 knitting needles where the copper buna cord is thinner so the same thickness as size 14.

Step 2:
Make a clay bead by rolling a medium thick sheet of clay and then doubling it.  Cut a 1/2" circle from the clay sheet and then roll into an oblong "ball".

Step 3:
Holding the pair of knitting needles together, poke a "double" hole into your clay bead by going straight down into your clay ball.

Step 4:
Carefully remove the knitting needles and flip your clay ball over.  You should see two indent marks that were made from the knitting needles.

Step 5:
Holding the knitting needles together and lining them up with the marks, insert them straight down into the clay piece the same way as in step 3.  You can go all the way through the clay bead to make a double hole by twisting one knitting needle at a time being careful to not distort or stretch the hole any larger. 

Step 6:
Leave the clay bead on the knitting needles as shown below for the next step.

Step 7:
You can stamp a pattern onto your bead at this point.  We like to texture one side and add our signature logo stamp on the other.  This is done by placing the clay bead onto a texture plate or stamp and pressing down slightly.  Another texture or logo stamp (shown here) can be pressed down on top.

Step 8:
Carefully remove the knitting needles from the clay bead one at a time by gently twisting them.  Bake the bead for at least 40 minutes.  After baking the cord should slide in through the holes but not be too lose.  If you find that your holes are too large, then you may need to go with a size smaller pair of knitting needles.

Step 9:
To prevent the bead from coming off the cord, a crimping bead can be added to the ends.  Here we used some fold over cord crimps and cut the loop off the end.  You could always leave the loops on and add a decorative bead dangle to each end if you prefer.

Step 10:
Cut your cord so that it is long enough to fit over your head with the slider bead extended to the end.  The cord on the necklace shown here is 26 inches long.  Slide the cord through the pendant and then through the slider bead.  Attach the fold over cord crimps to each cord end the same way as in our other softglass tutorial here.

One last tip:
If you do not want your cord ends to be a shiny metal, that can easily be changed by adding a bit of Gilders Paste.  Here we added some black to the silver ends which gave them more of a gunmetal look and blended in with the black cord so they weren't so noticeable.  I like Wendy Orlowski's tip she shared (click here) on marking the outside of her tins with the color so they are quick and easy to identify without having to open the lid each time.


Hermine said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I love discovering the clay way through your eyes.

Ernie Hendrix said...

I'm interested in knowing more about the texture stamp you used. That is a seriously deep stamp and looks perfect for some polymer work I want to do. Can you give your source?

2 Good Claymates said...

Glad you enjoyed the tutorial Hermine. I try to share practical ideas when I can and is nice to hear when they are appreciated.

2 Good Claymates said...

Regarding the textures, there are plenty out there that give a nice deep stamp. Most of the ones we use come from Shades of Clay (you can click on the link in the post for where we got the softglass cord). The one I show here was by Lisa Pavelka but I really like all of Helen Breil's as well.

Unknown said...

Great to know these things, thanks for sharing