Saturday, January 23

Simple pendant with air dry clay:DIY

Terracotta jewellery/jewelry is a rage in India today, just as paper-quilling has taken the DIY world by storm.

Buy a gorgeous Anarkali or saree and you can get a custom-made set of necklace, earrings and bangles or bracelets to go with it. Design has taken such a happy dimension in making clay accessories, that you can get simple work-wear sets too. Social media is abuzz with home-based entrepreneurs  giving wings to their creativity.

For the uninitiated though, making terracotta jewellery can be intimidating, mainly because of the baking complication involved. For the experts, it is a matter of getting their hands dirty and thriving on the technique.

Uma Karthik and Sankgetha Sripathy of Smudgy Trove and Mann-made Jewels are such terracotta jewellery artists who can turn a handful of clay into grab-worthy treasures. They give an easy-peasy method to get you started with the beautiful art. You do not need an OTG oven for this, because you can choose the alternative available -- air-dry clay, that does not need baking.

Here they are, materials required for the DIY pendant:

-- air-dry clay
-- a roller to flatten the clay
-- a flat surface on which you may roll it
-- nose plier
-- knife
-- cutting plier, the jewellery cutting kind
-- Nichrome wire, 26 gauge
-- cookie cutters or any cutter that will give your clay the right shape
-- acrylic paints of two colours
-- paint brush
-- black thread to string the pendant
-- an extra bead with a larger hole, to fit two strings of the black thread

Roll a little ball of clay from your air-dry clay stash. Place it on a flat surface and roll it.

You will get an irregular circle. Use the cookie cutter or other clay cutters to get a flat disc.

You may use your creativity, and give any shape to the pendant on the wet clay.

Use a knife to etch some simple design on the flat clay disc that is ready. Next, it is time to fix a little bead to the disc, to make the pendant's dangler. 

For this, get a half inch piece of the Nichrome wire from the wire role using the cutting pliers and make a bit. You can use this to loop to make a `U' shape and fix the hanging mini-bead.

Use another such U-shaped piece, to insert into the opposite end of the hanging bead.

After the disc is ready, go ahead and dry the piece in the sun, for about half a day. If you have a terracotta piece, you will need to bake it in a little clay pot with some charcoal. 

Time to paint the piece. Uma Karthik has used black paint for a start. And added some gold and red to it. A single coat is sufficient for air-dry variety of clay. You will need to let the paint dry though.

Once the painting part is done, it is time to string the black thread into the loop that you made. You can choose the length based on your preference of how it must hang. 

Use both the ends and insert them into another bead and knot. This is to help partly adjust its height when you wear it on a daily basis. 

Optionally, you can make some beads, air dry them and paint them too, to string into either sides of the pendant loop. They added a pair of earrings to the beautiful pendant and sent a picture of the elegant set.

Is the set not gorgeous! Wear your pendant for that casual do, to work, a dinner or a fun day. 

Do not get intimidated by the idea of making clay jewellery. It is all about shedding those doubts in your head about how your piece may turn out and dive right into making it. 

A big shout out to the girls for sharing the done-in-a-jiffy project steps.

PICTURES AND METHOD COURTESY: Uma Karthik and Sankgetha Sripathy of Mann-made Jewels and Smudgy Trove

Check their Facebook pages for more details.

Copyrights to the pictures rest with Smudgy Trove and Mann-made Jewels.

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